He is a trumpeter, flugelhorn player and singer who became a member of The Phenix Horns in the early 1970s after Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire brought them together. It has been said that he was partly responsible for their unique sound with his own personal way of using the instrument in its upper register, which was evident in hits such as “September” in 1978.
In 1981 he and the other members of The Phenix Horns joined Phil Collins to record his album Face Value and then moved on to work with him and Genesis on “No Reply At All” on their Abacab and “Paperlate” EP. Continuing to work with Phil Collins they appeared on his Hello, I Must Be Going and No Jacket Required and also toured with him where they would sing backing as well. He left the group in 1986.
Throughout his career he has appeared with many other artists including Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, The Gap Band and Michael Jackson and has featured on albums including All ‘n’ All, Live in Rio, I Am, That’s the Way of the World: Alive in ’75, Spirit, Raise, Eternal Dance, Powerlight, Gratitude, Faces and Elements of Love: Ballads by Earth, Wind & Fire, Chinese Wall by Philip Bailey, I Touched a Dream/Whatever Turns You On by The Dells, Gonna Take a Miracle and Songbird by Deniece Williams, Flowers and Sunbeam by The Emotions, Feel the Spirit by Leroy Hutson, Shake It All About by Little Richard, Oh How Life Is and Trouble With Being Myself by Macy Gray and The Gap Band as well as releasing the instructional video Beginning Trumpet.
He is now a member of Al McKay’s Allstars that is made up of many of the original Earth, Wind & Fire members as well as former musicians with The Doobie Brothers and Tower of Power.
The Gap Band recordings
Baby Baba Boogie (Lonnie Simmons/Charlie Wilson)
Me and Virgil (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford)
Paperlate (Phil Collins/Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford)
You Might Recall (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford)
Here he is playing trumpet on “September” with Earth, Wind & Fire…