Osmosis was started in 1969 in the Berklee School of Music environment.  The original members were Charlie Mariano, Charlie Bechler on piano. Danny Comfort on bass and Dick Banda on drums.  Bob Knox, the singer joined the band and Andy Steinborn joined in October of that year.  After a short period of time Lou Peterson replaced Dick Banda on drums.  Dick was primarily interested in jazz gigs and Osmosis with the addition of Bob Knox and Andy Steinborn, the band was headed in a heavier rock direction. Shortly thereafter Bobby Clark joined the band and the rhythm section soared to new levels featuring a lot of guitar and bass coordination between Danny and Andy and a complex wall of sound generated by blending with two outstanding drummers.

The first public performance was at New England Life Hall in October of 1969.  The band continued with private performances at colleges throughout the area.  They played the Cambridge Common Concert Series with the Allman Brothers, Chicago Transit Authority (before the name was shortened to Chicago) and Alice Cooper.

They regularly played double bills with the J Geils Blues Band at various venues throughout New England.  They opened for Ike and Tina Turner when they came to New England playing at the New England Arena and the coliseum in Hyannis. The largest local venue they played was the 4th of July concert in 1970 with Swallow, Daddy Warbux and other local bands, with over 100,000 in attendance.

In 1970 they recorded what was originally supposed to be a double album.  The band recorded the entire album in Studio B at RCA in New York in 8.5 hours.  The rough mix was a powerhouse of ensemble rock and jazz.  Unfortunately, the final mix at the studio decimated the power and impact of those tracks.  The band fell victim to a producer who was trying to make a “pop” album so the vocals were heavily accented, echo splattered over all the tracks, solos spiced and liner notes penned by the producer tried to portray the band in a different light.  Most of the band members were massively disappointed with the final result.

Osmosis was the first jazz fusion band to ever play the Village Vanguard in New York and at the time producer Bob Thiele tried to record the band but the venue was too small for a 7 piece band.

Osmosis went on to play the opening of the Playboy Towers in Chicago which was originally the Knickerbocker Hotel and opened for Miles Davis at the Tea Party in Boston.

A cross country tour was in the works with the Guess Who but RCA had not included enough money for the band.  After offering to purchase all new equipment for the road there was little money to pay the band and so the tour was scrapped.  Their final gig was in Boston at the Jazz Workshop opposite George Benson.  By that time a potential tour of Japan had fallen through and a deal in the works to back Jimi Hendrix as the rhythm section on his next album collapsed when Hendrix died.  Shortly thereafter Charlie Mariano left for Europe and the band dissolved.


Published On: December 12, 2017

Have a memory to share? Let us know below!