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Jeremy Steig

Jeremy Steig

Jeremy Steig


Jeremy Steig (September 23, 1942 – April 13, 2016) was an American jazz flutist. Steig was the son of New Yorker cartoonist William Steig and Elizabeth (Mead) Steig, head of the fine arts department at Lesley College. Steig was a maternal nephew of Margaret Mead and Leo Rosten, and was also the cousin of Mary Catherine Bateson. Steig himself worked as an artist and graphic designer. At age 19 Steig was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him paralyzed on one side. Read more on Last.fm
Jeremy Steig (September 23, 1942 – April 13, 2016) was an American jazz flutist. Steig was the son of New Yorker cartoonist William Steig and Elizabeth (Mead) Steig, head of the fine arts department at Lesley College. Steig was a maternal nephew of Margaret Mead and Leo Rosten, and was also the cousin of Mary Catherine Bateson. Steig himself worked as an artist and graphic designer. At age 19 Steig was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him paralyzed on one side. For some years afterward, he played the flute with the help of a special mouthpiece. After a start in mainstream jazz, with albums with Bill Evans and Denny Zeitlin, Steig became an early force in the jazz-rock fusion experiments of the late 1960s and early 70s, including the short lived band Jeremy and the Satyrs, featuring Warren Bernhardt, Eddie Gómez and Adrian Guillary.

Steig's album Energy, later re-released with additional material under different titles, featured keyboard player Jan Hammer and bassist Eddie Gómez, and was recorded at Electric Lady Studios under the hand of sometime Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer. Additionally, Steig played flute on the seminal Peter Walker record "Rainy Day Raga", providing an atmospheric color essential to the records fusion of Eastern Indian and Americana Folk traditions. Steig addressed the tonal color restrictions of the instrument by the use of "modern" acoustic techniques (voice multiphonics and overtones similar to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, key percussion) electronic effects, and by using the entire battery of flute-family instruments, from piccolo to bass flute (including the obscure Sousa-era alto piccolo), often over-dubbed and multi-tracked together. His song "Howlin' For Judy", from his 1970 album Legwork, was sampled in the Beastie Boys' 1994 single "Sure Shot", providing the main instrumental part of the song. Steig played with the Plastic Ono Band. Steig performed the role of "The Pied Piper," exclusively on flute, in the film Shrek Forever After, based on the character created by his father. He lived in Japan with his wife Asako. He died on April 13, 2016. One of the earliest and finest jazz-rock flutists, Jeremy Steig's an outstanding soloist. He's mastered the entire flute family, including bass, and also plays piccolo well.

He has a similarily rich, classically pure tone and timbre like James Newton or Hubert Laws, and uses almost as many devices such as tongue fluttering, humming and swirling lines. But he's not as blues or swing oriented, and his associations include working in the early '60s with Richie Havens, and heading Jeremy And The Satyrs in 1967. Steig's father is the famous artist William Steig; he began playing recorder at six and took flute lessons at 11. Steig attended the High School of Music and Art.

He played with Gary Peacock and Paul Bley in the early '60s, then led a jazz-rock combo in 1967 backing Tim Hardin before heading his own groups. Steig played with Mike Mainieri and Eddie Gomez in the '60s, and Jan Hammer in 1970. He began using electronics and synthesizers in the '70s, and toured Europe both as a soloist and heading quartets and quintets. He recorded with Gomez and Joe Chambers in the late '70s, and did sessions with Mike Nock, Karl Ratzer, Nana Vasconcelos, Ray Baretto, Steve Gadd and Jack DeJohnette in the '80s.

In 1975 Jeremy Steig did indeed play the blues on an album called 'Temple Of Birth' featuring none other than Johnny Winter on some wicked guitar & dobro on several tracks. This was in return for the great flute work he did with Johnny in 1973 on the cut 'Too Much Seconal' from Johnny's album 'Still Alive & Well'. Jeremy also added terrific flute track to Johnny Winter's 'Saints and Sinners' track 'Dirty'. Steig currently has a couple of sessions available on CD.

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