It’s been more than four decades since drummer/producer Bobby Colomby and friends assembled the first group to successfully blend rock and jazz into a genre-crossing sound and style. So successfully in fact, that the band’s second album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, topped the Billboard charts for many weeks and beat out the Beatles’ Abbey Road for the prestigious Album of the Year Grammy award. That album produced three major hit singles: “You Made me so Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die.”
But now Colomby is looking for much more as he develops Blood Sweat & Tears into a contemporary voice, one that reaches beyond a single, nostalgic audience. “I no longer want to target just one generation. That would be a mistake. With this updated version, I want this band to gain recognition with a wider audience. I want people of all ages to experience what this music has to offer.
Will Blood, Sweat & Tears have any of the original members? “Not a chance,” says Colomby. The last member to leave the band from the first album in 1977. I think of this band like baseball’s Yankees. “When you’re at a Yankee game you’re not going to see Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Lou Gehrig. What you do come to expect is a team of top-notch players upholding a tradition of winning. That’s the Yankee legacy. It what people expect from BS&T as well… brilliant musicians, singers, songs and arrangements.
“The first version of B, S &T,” adds Colomby, “was designed to introduce jazz to pop music. That was my passion… and still is.” Towards that end, Blood, Sweat & Tears will perform their hits with spirit and enthusiasm, as if it was their first performance of those songs. The band will also introduce some new elements into every performance, including a segment devoted to “Songs We Wish We Had Recorded,” done in classic B,S & T style.
Bobby Colomby’s enthusiastic comments underscore his excitement about the future. The arrival of this latest version of Blood, Sweat & Tears is the next chapter in a musical tale that stretches from the creativity and turbulence of the late ‘60s to the swiftly changing world of the 21st Century. The next invigorating phase in the continuing adventures of B, S & T is about to begin.