Band X consisted of Alan Grzyb, Victor Preston and Joey Bellomo alongside their auteur, Craig Peyton.
Originally a jazz drummer and vibraphonist, Craig was interested in utilizing the potential of some of the new synthesizers that were coming onto the market in that era, (beating even Stevie Wonder to the use of the Fairlight keyboard). </br>
Despite being, broadly speaking, ‘jazz’, Craig’s music had a synthetic feel and, like many musical conceptions of the future, sounds decidedly retro-cool today. Drummer Bellomo contributed synthesizer work, and horn-player Grzyb also contributed keyboards. Bass-man Preston also played trombone, and alongside Grzyb’s bassoon and clarinet and the assorted electronics, it was not your standard jazz ensemble. Quirky song titles (some of which wouldn’t sound out of place on a prog-rock album from the same time) confirm the image we have of a musical maverick.</br>
Peyton would go on to rename his band (with some personnel changes) The Craig Peyton Group (check out their Pyramid album also coming out through BBE, and work as a musician and arranger with luminaries including as diverse as James Brown, Melba Moore, Nona Hendrix, Levon Helm and Dan Hartman, while work for TV took up much of his time. He had a big adult-contemporary hit with Latitude 40 Degrees North in 1995.
Later on Craig Peyton also got his pilot’s license, and has produced acclaimed films documenting his flights, with his own aerial photography and music. In 2001, Craig was diagnosed with an oesophegal cancer that looked to be terminal, but was beaten by an experimental treatment that included both the advances of modern science and the help of a healer. Craig’s journey back from the brink was documented in his book, Cloudman, Surviving Stage IV Cancer: A New Beginning.
With its tongue in cheek title, The Best of Band X (there had been no previous Band X releases) snuck into the record racks in 1976, the first the world was to hear from musician/producer/writer/arranger Craig Peyton. Fitting in somewhere…