As a virtuoso bassist, versatile composer, and acclaimed bandleader, Marc Johnson has been a major innovator on the jazz scene for the past two decades. Born in Nebraska in 1953, Johnson took up bass at the age of 16, having already studied piano and cello. While completing his formal education in the celebrated music program at the University of North Texas, at age 19, Johnson began performing professionally with the Fort Worth Symphony. In 1977, he was on the road with the Woody Herman Band.
Andrew Hill (born June 30, 1931 – April 20, 2007) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Hill first recorded as a sideman in 1955, but his reputation was made by his Blue Note recordings as leader from 1963 to 1969, which featured several other important post-bop musicians including Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Tony Williams, as well as two of John Gilmore's rare outings away from Sun Ra.
Charles Lloyd (b. March 15, 1938) is an American jazz musician, playing mostly tenor saxophone along with flute and tarogato.
He started his career by playing together with Chico Hamilton and Cannonball Adderley.
In the latter half of the 60s, his own quartet with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette was one of the most popular jazz bands of the time. Their album Forest Flower is one of the best-selling jazz albums ever.
In the 70s Lloyd was mostly retired from music, but came back in the 80s after being persuaded doing so by French pianist Michel Petrucciani.
Tim Berne (born 1954) is an American jazz saxophone player and composer. Though Berne was a music fan, he had no interest in playing a musical instrument until he was in college, when he purchased an alto saxophone. He was more interested in rhythm and blues music--Stax records releases and Aretha Franklin, especially--until he heard a recording by Julius Hemphill. Hemphill was known for his integration of soul music and funk with free jazz. Berne moved to New York City in 1974. There Berne took lessons from Hemphill, and later recorded with him.
One of the premier guitarists of his generation, the three-time Grammy nominee was born on January 10, 1953 in Boston. After growing up in Washington D.C., he returned to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music and got his start as a guitar player with Blood, Sweat & Tears at the age of 22. Following a stint with Billy Cobham's powerhouse fusion band from 1979-1980, Mike moved to New York City and was recruited by Miles Davis and played a key role in his celebrated comeback band of 1981 (which also included bassist Marcus Miller...
In 1977, Robben Ford assembled a group of veteran session musicians to record his album The Inside Story. The trio of musicians, which included keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson, soon discovered a certain "chemistry" and musical affinity that led to their formation of Yellowjackets. The Inside Story being mainly instrumental, Robben Ford's record label wanted him to record another album that was more pop and vocal oriented. The group, known as the Robben Ford Group, preferred to pursue the instrumental route, and a "band within a band" was formed.