born on 23/9/1942 in New York City, NY, United States
died on 13/4/2016 in Yokohama, Honshu, Japan
Steig was born in Manhattan, the son of New Yorker cartoonist William Steig and Elizabeth (Mead) Steig, head of the fine arts department at Lesley College. Steig was a maternal nephew of Margaret Mead and Leo Rosten, and was also the cousin of Mary Catherine Bateson. Steig himself worked as an artist and graphic designer.
At age 19 Steig was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him paralyzed on one side. For some years afterward, he played the flute with the help of a special mouthpiece.
After a start in mainstream jazz with albums featuring Bill Evans and Denny Zeitlin, Steig became an early force in the jazz-rock fusion experiments of the late 1960s and early '70s. After recording a single for Columbia in 1965 with the seven-piece Moe, Adrian, & the Sculptors, he formed the short-lived band Jeremy and the Satyrs, featuring Warren Bernhardt, Eddie Gómez and Adrian Guillary. Steig's album Energy, later re-released with additional material under different titles, featured keyboard player Jan Hammer and bassist Eddie Gómez, and was recorded at Electric Lady Studios under the hand of sometime Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer. Additionally, Steig played flute on the seminal Peter Walker record "Rainy Day Raga", providing an atmospheric color essential to the record's fusion of Eastern Indian and Americana Folk traditions.
Steig expanded the tonal limitations of the flute by experimenting with "modern" acoustic techniques such as overblowing, voice multiphonics (singing along while playing, in the manner Rahsaan Roland Kirk and later Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull), key percussion, the use of electronic effects, and by using the entire battery of flute-family instruments, from piccolo to bass flute (including the obscure Sousa-era alto piccolo), often over-dubbed and multi-tracked together.
His song "Howlin' For Judy", from his 1970 album Legwork, was sampled in the Beastie Boys' 1994 single "Sure Shot", providing the main instrumental part of the song.
Steig played with the Plastic Ono Band
Steig performed the role of "The Pied Piper," exclusively on flute, in the film Shrek Forever After, based on the character created by his father.
He lived in Japan with his wife Asako. He died in Yokohama from cancer on April 13, 2016.
- 1963: Flute Fever (Columbia) Quartet with Denny Zeitlin
- 1968: Jeremy & The Satyrs (Reprise)
- 1969: What’s New (Verve) with the Bill Evans Trio
- 1969: This Is Jeremy Steig (Solid State)
- 1970: Legwork (Solid State)
- 1970: Wayfaring Stranger (Blue Note)
- 1970: Energy (Capitol)
- 1971: An Open Heart - Warriors Of The Rainbow (Akashic Records; with Fantazzi & Friends) note: a limited edition-private pressing release.
- 1974: Monium (Columbia)
- 1975: Temple of Birth (Columbia)
- 1976: Leaving (Trio Records [Japanese import]; later issued on Storyville) with Richard Beirach
- 1976: Outlaws [live] (Enja) with Eddie Gómez)
- 1977: Firefly (CTI)
- 1978: Lend Me Your Ears (CMP) with Eddie Gómez and Joe Chambers
- 1979: Music for Flute & Double-Bass (CMP) with Eddie Gómez
- 1980: Rain Forest (CMP) with Eddie Gómez
- 1992: Jigsaw (Triloka)
- 2002: What's New at F (Tokuma [Japanese import]; with Eddie Gómez Quartet)
- 2003: Jam (Steig-Gomez Records; with Eddie Gómez)
- 2004: Improvised (Moonbeams Records)
- 2005: Flute On The Edge (Steig Music Company)
- 2007: Pterodactyl (Steig Music Company)
Compilations and Other Appearances
- 1969: Jazz Wave, Ltd. - On Tour [live] (Blue Note; various artists) 2LP
- 1971: Portrait (United Artists) 2LP compilation of albums: This Is Jeremy Steig, Legwork and Wayfaring Stranger.
- 1972: Fusion (Groove Merchant) 2LP; reissue of Energy, with second album (=7 tracks) of previously unreleased material.
- 1973: Mama Kuku [live] (MPS/BASF Records; with Association P.C.)
- 1974: Flute Summit - Jamming At Donaueschingen Music Festival (Atlantic; with James Moody, Sahib Shihab, Chris Hinze)
- 2008: Howlin' for Judy (Blue Note; "Rare Grooves" series) CD compilation of albums: Legwork and Wayfaring Stranger.
With Walter Bishop, Jr. Trio
- Illumination (Denon Records [Japanese import], 1977)
With Tommy Bolin
- From The Archives - Vol. 1 (Rhino Records, 1996) a collection of "grade-A" previously unreleased "rock-jazz-fusion" material.
- From The Archives - Volume 2 (Zebra Records, 1998) another collection of previously unreleased material; even better than the first volume.
With Hank Crawford
- Hank Crawford's Back (Kudu, 1976)
- Tico Rico (Kudu/CTI, 1977)
With Art Farmer
- Crawl Space (CTI, 1977)
With Urbie Green
- The Fox (CTI, 1976)
With Mike Mainieri
- Journey Thru an Electric Tube (Solid State, 1968)
With Idris Muhammad
- Turn This Mutha Out (Kudu/CTI, 1977)
- Boogie To The Top (Kudu/CTI, 1978)
With Lalo Schifrin
- Towering Toccata (CTI, 1976)
With Peter Walker
- Rainy Day Raga (Vanguard, 1966)
With Johnny Winter
- Still Alive and Well (Columbia, 1973)
- Saints & Sinners (Columbia, 1974) note: Jeremy plays on "Dirty", a previously unreleased instrumental track recorded for but left-off the original album release; it is included on the CD reissue.
With Paul Winter Sextet
- Jazz Meets The Folk Song (Columbia, 1964)
- A Summer's Night (Stormy Forest, 1970)
- Peter Keepnews, "Jeremy Steig, Flutist Who Bridged Jazz and Rock, Dies at 73", The New York Times, June 2, 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016
- "Jeremy Steig - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Wolff, Carlo (7 February 2014). "Jeremy Steig: Flute Fever (2013)". All About Jazz.
- Banner, Lois W. (2010). Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307773401.
- Brinthaupt, Thomas M.; Lipka, Richard P. (2002). Understanding Early Adolescent Self and Identity: Applications and Interventions. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780791453346.
- "Beastie Boys: Sure Shot (1994)". Discogs.com.
- EntertainmentHotline (16 May 2010). "Shrek Forever After Jeremy Steig - Pied Piper Flute Soloist". YouTube. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Tribute page to Jeremy Steig on his official web site
- Celeste Sutherland, "Jeremy Steig", All About Jazz, April 17, 2004
- Jeremy Steig on IMDb
- Discogs entry