The posters are inviting... "All these musicians with such different backgrounds playing together. Must be really something!" But then, when one realizes that no recordings by this group have been on the Montreal market, doubt sets in... "probably a few guys trying to make it as a super group." Each musician has made a name for himself, individually. But how will they do together?
Not to worry. They've been together four years and have recorded four albums. True, there are no Steps Ahead albums in Montréal but that is easily explained. It has to do with balance of payment to Japan. What? Exactly. Steps Ahead cut their first three records in the Land of the Rising Sun and they cannot be distributed in North America.
Whatever the commercial difficulties, Steps Ahead has been and remains a group of "friends". Vibraphonist Mike Mainieri got together with Eddie Gomez (bass, formerly with Bill Evans), Mike Brecker (sax, well-known studio musician having made recordings with Mingus, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, etc.), Peter Erskine (formerly with Weather Report) and Eliani Alias (keyboards) to play their own compositions. Their joint efforts have proven happy indeed for jazz fans everywhere. Their latest album should be available in Montréal soon on the Elektra label.