The Most Notable Of Cat Stevens’ Session Musicians

Cat Stevens was a massively profitable folk-rock singer of the late 60’s and 70’s, having fun with appreciable success and recognition on each side of the Atlantic.

In late 1969, his recorded output took a marked change, as soon as he’d disbursed with the manufacturing providers of former Springfields guitarist Mike Hurst and recruited the ex-Yardbirds bass participant Paul Samwell Smith. The latter regarded extra favourably on the brand new folk-rock path Stevens needed to take and, with a brand new report deal signed for Chris Blackwell’s Island Data, Cat was capable of embark on a fruitful interval of writing and recording.

Previous to the crystallisation of this new path, the likes of Peter Gabriel had performed flute on Mona Bone Jakon, while Nicky Hopkins had additionally performed keyboards on the identical album, having contributed electrical piano to The Beatles’ Revolution amongst different issues. Nevertheless, Samwell Smith was now essential to shaping Stevens’ new sound, inasmuch as he launched new session gamers to him who could be essential to the making of his groundbreaking Island albums.

Arguably, the perfect of any of Cat Stevens’ session musicians was a guitarist by the title of Alun Davies, also called Daydo to these within the music enterprise (this nickname being the title of his first solo album, too, within the mid 70s). Davies was a distinguished exponent of the brand new folk-rock style then rising and his finger-style guitar, suitable backing vocals and his total perfectionist strategy tallied exceedingly nicely with Stevens, a lot in order that he went on to seem on all however two of Stevens’ albums previous to his retirement.

Stevens’ withdrawal from the music enterprise in 1979 left Davies at a very low ebb, however such was their friendship that, 27 years later when Stevens re-emerged as Yusuf, Davies was as soon as once more at his aspect, making a useful contribution.

Different notable session gamers who participated on Cat Stevens’ output included: vocalist Linda Lewis, who had solo hits herself within the 70’s; Herbie Flowers who is probably higher referred to as the bassist with the rock/classical conglomerate Sky (and for his bass line on Lou Reed’s Stroll On The Wild Facet); David Sanborn, a saxophonist of some renown; Brenda Russell, who had a solo hit within the 80’s together with her personal tune Piano In The Darkish; Artwork Garfunkel, who sang on the Numbers album; Chick Corea, the distinguished keyboard participant, just lately deceased (2021), a member of The Mahavishnu Orchestra and his personal Return To Perpetually mission, who performed on the Izitso album – and eventually, Elkie Brooks who sang prominently on the hit tune Bear in mind The Days Of The Previous Schoolyard.

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