L'Image: Jazz Fusion Veterans Reunited at Iridium Jazz Club
The last date listed for L'Image was Sunday, Sep. 27, 2009 / 10:30pm.
L’Image originally included friends Mike Mainieri, Warren Bernhardt, Steve Gadd, and Tony Levin. They were all living in Woodstock at the time and decided to devote several months to developing the music. They rehearsed in Mainieri’s barn, which was converted into a studio, and played at the Joyous Lake (Woodstock), The Red Creek Inn (Rochester, New York: Gadd’s home), and New York City. At a later date the quartet added guitarist David Spinozza, who also toured with the group.
To much dismay of their worshippers, the group was short-lived, but they did manage to record some of the music on Mike Mainieri’s solo albums, ‘Love Play’ and ‘Wanderlust.’ After and since, the members have played with each other in various groups and recordings, but finally L’Image has reunited, recorded a CD, at the Iridium tonight is recording a live state-of-the art DVD, and will soon be embarking on a worldwide tour.
Each of the musicians’ credits over the past 40 years are countless, but here are a few:
Mike Mainieri began his professional career in 1952 with Paul Whiteman, and in 1961 won the Downbeat Critics Poll during his 5-year tenure with the Buddy Rich Sextet. Like his fellow L’Image ‘brothers,’ Mike has recorded extensively for six decades with notable jazz and pop artists. In 2008 alone, Mainieri celebrated a worldwide tour with his band of 35 years, Steps Ahead. He also toured with his electronic/acoustic ensemble from Norway, called Northern Lights.
Warren Bernhardt just released his most recent jazz album, ’Amelia’s Song,’ and is preparing for a set of classical concerts. Besides his educational videos and other fine work over the past decades, Bernhardt has been co-leader and keyboardist of Steps Ahead and has served as musical director of Steely Dan. L’Image also recorded some of their music together on Warren’s solo album, ‘Manhattan Update.’
David Spinozza has produced, arranged, and composed for James Taylor, as well as playing guitar for him. He has been known as one of the ‘first-call’ studio guitarists for decades. In the ‘70s, he worked with Paul McCartney, John , Paul Simon, Dr. John, Donny Hathaway, Carly Simon, Roberta Flack, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. His musical expertise covers R&B to classical. Mainieri (and Spinozza) co-produced Spinozza’s highly acclaimed A&M album ‘Spinozza*.’
Steve Gadd is one of the most coveted drummers in the business, having over just the past few years being the favorite of James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Chick Corea, and Paul Simon. He appeared on the first recordings of Steps a.k.a. Steps Ahead.
Tony Levin, another studio phenomenon, has recorded with Steps Ahead, as well as with John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and others.