Blood Sweat & Tears (also known as “BS&T“) is a contemporary jazz-rock American music group. They are noted for their combination of brass and rock band instrumentation. The group recorded songs by rock/folk songwriters such as Laura Nyro, James Taylor, the Band, the Rolling Stones, as well as Billie Holiday and Erik Satie. They also incorporated music from Thelonious Monk and Sergei Prokofiev into their arrangements.
They were originally formed in 1967 in New York City. Since their beginnings, the band has gone through numerous iterations with varying personnel and has encompassed a multitude of musical styles. The band is most notable for fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as “jazz-rock”. Unlike “jazz fusion” bands, which tend toward virtuosic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of 20th century classical and small combo jazz traditions.
Al Kooper, Jim Fielder, Fred Lipsius, Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz and Bobby Colomby formed the original band. The creation of the group was inspired by the “brass-rock” ideas of the Buckinghams and its producer, James William Guercio, as well as the early 1960s Roulette-era Maynard Ferguson Orchestra (according to Kooper’s autobiography).
Al Kooper was the group’s initial bandleader, having insisted on that position based on his experiences with the Blues Project, his previous band with Steve Katz, which had been organized as an egalitariancollective. Jim Fielder was from Frank Zappa’s the Mothers of Invention and had played briefly with Buffalo Springfield. Kooper’s fame as a high-profile contributor to various historic sessions of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix,