Jeff Sturges and Universe

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971)

- Jeff Sturges (RIP 2018) -- conductor


- Don Baldwin -- bass 

- Bill Both -- trombone 

- Aubrey Bouck -- horn, French horn 

- Rich Cooper -- trumpet 

- Burt Esterman -- sax 

- Gary Freyman -- sax 

- Dennis Kelly -- bass  

- Mike Lewis -- percussion 

- Arthur Maebe -- horn, French horn 

- Jimmy Manone -- keyboards 

- Don Menza -- sax

- Jon Murakami -- trumpet 

- Stan Nishamura -- trombone 

- Dean Parks -- lead guitar 

- Dick Perissi -- horn, French horn

- John Phillips -- sax 

- Ralph Pollock -- horn, French horn 

- Tommu Porrelo -- trumpet

- Roger Rampton -- percussion 

- Bobby Shaw -- trumpet 

- Hal Stesch -- keyboards 

- Jim Trimble -- trombone 

- Dan Trinter -- trombone 

- Derek Watkins -- trumpet 

- Archie Wheeler -- sax 




- none known





Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Jeff Sturges and Universe

Company: MAM

Catalog: MAM 1

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5446

Price: $25.00


Yeah this is one I bought at a flea market without a clue as to who, or what it was going to sound like.  If I'd seen the horn player listing there's a good chance I would probably have passed on it ...


Recorded live at Las Vegas' Ceasar's Palace casino (the same night Tom Jones recorded a live album), namesake Jeff Sturges served as the conductor/arranger for what was an extended rock ensemble.   I'm not even going to try to guess what the concept behind "Jeff Sturges and Universe" was - 'let's bring rock and roll to middle aged gamblers ...'  Who knows what they were thinking.  Anyhow, the album certainly got off to a shaky start with the instrumental ' Junior Saw It' reminding me of something Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Band might have churned out.  Even Dean Park's searing guitar solo couldn't save the track.  Anyhow, the rest of the instrumental set was equally eclectic mixing hard rock covers (Grand Funk Railroad's 'Sin's a Good Man's Brother') with a couple of funkier number (a cover of The Flock's 'Clown').  As a rule the set got better when the focus was on Parks' guitar at the expensive of the legion of horn players.  Powered by Parks' guitar tracks like the feedback drenched 'Sin's a Good Man's Brother', 'Never In My Life' and 'Acid West' all had their moments, though the dreaded horns kept popping up throughout.  Definitely a strange album that keeps bouncing from rock to MOR horn arrangements!


"Jeff Sturges and Universe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Junior Saw It (instrumental)   (Jim Plute)  2:14

2.) Sin's a Good Man's Brother (instrumental)   (Mark Farmer) - 7:05

3.) Never In My Life (instrumental)   (Leslie West - Corky Laing - Felix Pappalardi - Collins) - 4:09

4.) Clown (instrumental)  (The Flock) - 7:33


(side 2)
1.) Rice Pudding (instrumental)   (Jeff Beck - Hopkins - Newman - Wood) - 6:45

2.) Mississippi Queen (instrumental)   (Leslie West - Corky Laing - Felix Pappalardi)  - 3:33

3.) Acid West (instrumental)    (Jeff Sturges) - 8:07

4.) Keep On Burnin'  (instrumental)  (Ryan - Devers) - 2:34




There's at least one non-LP single; this one featuring a vocal from Johnny Lopez:


- 1972's 'San Antonio' b/w 'Don't Wait for Me' (MAM catalog number MAM 3640)


Sturges went on to work in film and television.  After a long battle with cancer he passed on in July 2018.