The leader — and center — of Steps Ahead is Mike Mainieri. On stage, he speaks about an amazing legacy of bands going back over 50 years, to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and the Buddy Rich sextet. He’s amazing to watch on the vibes.
Bill, Antonio and I were fully entertained by Steps Ahead Special Edition, at the Iridium Jazz Club.
I claim that the best live concert performance of my life has been Steps Ahead in 1986, at the Bottom Line in New York. I think that I’ve seen the band play once in Toronto in the 1990s. Whenever I’m scheduled to be in New York, I check if Steps Ahead is playing. This time, we made it a team event, as Bill was in town for a client meeting, and I had told Antonio to expect a great show. The members of Steps Ahead have changed over the years, but the virtuosity is always top notch. This Special Edition ensemble featured Bryan Baker on guitar.