Under the leadership of bassist Gordon Edwards, several of the most prolific studio players of the time around teamed together to form an all-star rhythm section that on a part-time basis operated as an independent group. Back around 1967, Edwards put together the Encyclopedia of Soul and during the next decade, the group (which just played together on an occasional basis) evolved into Stuff. Such musicians as drummer Billy Cobham and Jimmy Johnson and altoist David Sanborn passed through the group. By the time of its initial, eponymous recording in 1975, the lineup was set: Richard Tee on organ, electric piano, and acoustic pianos, both Eric Gale and Cornell Dupree on guitars, bassist Edwards, and drummer Steve Gadd; Christopher Parker was occasionally with the group on second drums and percussion. Stuff was popular in the 70s, when an instrumental ensemble was not viewed with suspicion by audiences fed on a relentless diet of bland, instantaneous saccharine pop. The very fact that drummer Steve Gadd toured with the group They recorded four albums for Warner Bros., all with names far less imaginative than the music they produced. These records were: 1975’s Stuff, 1977’s More Stuff, with the two records the following year being Live Stuff and Stuff It. The group had occasional reunions in the '80s, though opposing forces prevailed and the group has long since caesed to exist. Of course, Stuff differs from other groups and it is not like they have spent these intervening decades struggling; all members without exception returned to their highly successful and lucrative careers as session musicians. With such busy recording schedules, Stuff’s members (Steve Gadd in particular) are not often seen touring with live bands, so it is pleasing to see that in the 21st Century, a multi-format release of the group’s Montreux Jazz Festival has come out on Eagle Rock called Stuff: Live at Montreux 1976. The set features covers of artists they respect and/or had worked with (Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” for example), instrumental jams composed/improvised by the band and, of course, awesome displays of technical prowess showcased in the band’s soloists, especially Gadd’s electrifying drum solo.