Gregg Rolie Band
Gregg Rolie Band
We created something that no one could fathom…it was about the rhythms and solos more than the songs. It wasn’t Latin music, rock music, the blues—not any of the above. It was a combination of all of them”. Rolie calls ROOTS’ twelve original selections “Latin rock plus…the instrumentation is Latin percussion, with organ, guitar, horns, and lots of great solo work and songwriting”, adding that “I really wanted to go all the way back to my Santana roots”. Those auspicious roots officially began in the late ‘60s and flowered amazingly in 1969, the year Santana’s self-titled debut album was released just weeks after the band gave an electrifying performance at Woodstock.
Rolie calls the documentary film made of that landmark concert “the mother of all music Videos”, and the event did indeed skyrocket Santana into instant worldwide renown. Their second album, the quadruple-platinum, hit packed Abraxas, remains Gregg’s favorite from his tenure with the band, and features many of the lead vocals he is best known for. After choosing to part ways with Santana after album number four, Rolie went immediately on to establish Journey with fellow ex-Santana mate, guitarist Neal Schon, in 1972. In its original incarnation, Journey delivered a unique jazz-rock amalgam that spotlighted solo instrumental work more than vocals. In addition to once again lending his considerable vocal and keyboard prowess to the endeavor, Rolie co-wrote and coproduced the band’s first seven albums, and credits the Journey era with substantially honing his songwriting skills, a strength clearly evident on ROOTS’ outstanding repertoire.
Rolie toured extensively with Journey, remaining on throughout multiple personnel changes, including the 1978 addition of Steve Perry as lead vocalist (“We were now writing for singers instead of solos”, says Rolie) before exiting after the hugely successful 1981 live double album Captured. During the ‘80’s Rolie played, wrote and produced on the Santana albums Shango and Freedom, and released his debut, self-titled 1985 solo album and its 1987 follow-up Gringo, before co-founding the all-new Journe-esque rock group The Storm at the tail end of the decade. The Storm released two albums ‘92’s eponymous disc that yielded the #13 Billboard Hot 100 hit “I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love” and ‘96’s Eye Of the Storm. That same year, Rolie, along with five other original Santana members, formed Abraxas Pool, a spirited collaboration that resulted in a 1997 critically acclaimed album of the same name. Gregg Rolie Band - the players As you might imagine from his work with Santana and Journey, Gregg is no stranger to great musicianship. Given his experience and his desire to make the music the best it can be, he has chosen some of the best musicians in the world to bring his band and its music to life.
Gregg was determined to resurrect the sound he helped shape and make famous as Santana's Original Lead Singer and Keyboard Player, while at the same time bringing it forward to the 21st century. To do that required finding just the right mix of experience, musicianship and chemistry. The Gregg Rolie Band is composed of 4 musicians from Santana (2 of them now in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame) and 3 other highly accomplished players. Having worked with some of the biggest names in music over the years and having toured the world many times over, these musicians have the skills to interpret this music in the way it is meant to be interpreted, as Gregg so intimately knows. Gary Brown is a highly accomplished bassist who has made a name for himself touring and recording with the world renowned jazz, rock and pop stars such as Flora Purim & Airto, Pharaoh Sanders, Steve Winwood, Narada Michael Walden, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Santana, Ernie Watts, Eddie Henderson, Jeff Beck, Alex Acuna, Dori Caymmi, George Duke, Lyle Mays, Giovanni Hidalgo, Paul McCandles, Alphonse Mouzon, Andy Narrell, Pete and Sheila (Sheile E.) Escovedo and many others.
He's also composed and scored various TV and movie soundtracks such as "Sid & Nancy", Zandalee", "The Linguinit Incident" and more. Ron Wikso has been a friend of Gregg's since their days together as members of The Storm. Ron was instrumental in bringing Gregg back to the forefront of the music scene when he encouraged him to record the new album, "Roots", on which Ron played drums and shared engineering and co-production duties. As Gregg says, "it's all Ron's fault!" He has also played with many notable artists over the years, including Cher, Foreigner, David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), and many others. Wally Minko is an incredibly accomplished keyboard player, having toured and recorded with a wide array of artists such as Jean Luc Ponty, The Chieftains, En Vogue, Pink, Toni Braxton, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones and many others.
As you can see from that list, he is equally comfortable with Latin, Rock, Jazz, R&B and pretty much any other style of music you can throw at him. This is the first time Wally and Gregg have played together but the combination of these two guys on keyboards is something to marvel at…and they have a blast doing it! Adrian Areas has known Gregg since he was born! He is the son of original Santana timbale virtuoso, Jose "Chepito" Areas and one listen to Adrian's incredible timbale work will tell you that the music and the rhythm is in his blood. He's like a freight train when he plays, repeatedly garnering standing ovations for his solos and playing the kinds of things that would make other mere mortal timbale players want to re-consider their chosen instruments! Rocket Ritchotte has recorded and toured with some of the elite artists of the last 20 years, including Steppenwolf, Cher, David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, Lou Gramm (Foreigner), to name a few. He can also be heard on the soundtrack to such hit television shows as "Friends", Promised Land" and "Jessie", along with countelss other recordings.
Rocket and Ron played together in the David Lee Roth band and Ron played on Rocket's critically acclaimed solo album, "Salute", which is a true masterpiece and showcases Rocket's virtuoso guitar skills in a variety of genres. Elliot “Toby” Borrero is the Gregg Rolie Band’s newest member has been playing the drums since he was born—well, almost! Hailing from the Borrero, Bronx-based musical family, Toby grew up playing the full spectrum of Afro-Caribbean music. He is a dynamic and versatile percussionist who has professionally played contemporary and folkloric Afro-Latin rhythms with many bands across the country. He currently directs his roots music ensemble, Guaribo, and is looking forward to continuing the magic with the Gregg Rolie Band. So, strap yourself in and get ready to experience the musical and rhythmic freight train that is the Gregg Rolie Band. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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