Originally back in 2005 I couldn't find a decent page on the web about Charles Stepney, so I started writing my own homage to his wonderful music...
In the words of Patrick Forge, "this man is a total genius" (also acknowledged by the legendary George Massenburg). All I know about him is that he arranged and produced some stunning albums in the 1970's, such as The New Rotary Connection's "Hey Love" and Minnie Riperton's "Come To My Garden", as well as Ramsey Lewis's version of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" and some cool Terry Callier albums, also on Cadet Records.
His sumptuous string arrangements and creative piano and harpsichord orchestrations are a joy to behold, and just paint any music he is involved in with a cool sense of class. These records just sound good.
I'm currently on the look out for more albums with his name on and any information about him.
[UPDATE: OK, so I didn't look hard enough :-]
Plenty of albums to seek out now... :-)
After finding this web page, his daughter Charlene Stepney contacted me when she was putting together a website about her father's music; sadly only an archive still remains, but then her sister Chante since contacted me again with a new website and news of Charles Stepney Unreleased, a Limited Edition collection of home studio demo tracks, plus a documentary trailer telling his story. And he was featured in a BBC Four documentary called Legends: Roll over Beethoven - The Chess Records Saga (skip the first fifty minutes).
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2005-03-08 - last updated 2014-06-22 - links verified 2006-08-19