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It's one of the oldest axioms in the business: view every obstacle as a challenge, and consider things from every angle. Given that Bobby Colomby launched his career as drummer and co-founder of Blood, Sweat and Tears; later played a key role in the production of albums by such heralded artists as The Jacksons, Harry Connick, Jr., Jaco Pastorius, and Kenny Loggins; served as national music correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight;" and held senior executive positions with major record companies, it's clear this industry veteran has enjoyed success in the music business from all possible perspectives.

Most recently, Bobby has produced projects for trumpeter Chris Botti “When I Fall In Love” and “December” and is producing Paula Cole's next CD. He is also Sr. Consultant to Warner Brothers Pictures' music division.

Bobby served as Senior Consultant to Sony's 550 Digital Media Ventures, the division of Sony Broadband Entertainment established to create, operate, incubate, invest in and acquire digital media companies. 550DMV has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London .

In 1996 Bobby completed a seven year tenure as Senior Vice President, Creative Development, at Sony Music, where he assumed a wide range of responsibilities. While there, Bobby signed new artists, developed marketing strategies, and helmed the company's pioneering Regional A&R program, which placed A&R reps in cities across the country, enabling Sony affiliated labels to get a look at promising young talent in their nascent stages. Among other significant accomplishments at Sony, Bobby was instrumental in launching the career of musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr. He engineered the teaming with jazz great Branford Marsalis with Jay Leno during Leno's first year with "The Tonight Show," and he also served as executive producer for Earth, Wind and Fire and Kenny Loggins hit 1993 comeback album, Leap of Faith.

Working with such diverse artists comes easily to Bobby Colomby. A native of New York, he grew up in a very musical family. His brother Harry managed the legendary Thelonious Monk for 14 years, while his other brother Jules, also a jazz musician, was close friends with Miles Davis (who once borrowed Jules' trumpet to record the seminal Walkin' album). "When I was five, I could sing Clifford Brown solos with great accuracy, much to the delight of my brothers and their friends," remembers Bobby. "Later on, I wouldn't date a girl unless she knew who Charlie Mingus was. A la Diner , I suppose I was a little obsessed."

Though Bobby began drumming at age fifteen, he also pursued his education, earning a B.A. in Psychology. While in graduate school, he decided to take an extended leave from academics to pursue music. Together with Steve Katz and Al Kooper, he formed Blood, Sweat and tears in 1967, beginning an incredibly successful run of nearly ten years. Starting with the band's second album, their 1969 self-titled release, Blood, Sweat & Tears went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year, sell millions of records, create hit singles like "Spinning Wheel," 'You Made Me So Very Happy," and "And When I Die," and establish themselves as the benchmark of quality for years to come.

Early in the band's life, Bobby assumed a leadership position, eventually becoming the producer of many of B.S.& T's albums. "I was interested in the mechanics of music then," he says, "and I still am." That experience led to a production deal with CBS Records. His first project was the debut album by a then-unknown bass guitar genius named Jaco Pastorius, whom Bobby discovered in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. "My goal," says Bobby, "was to present Jaco in such a way as to be able to hear the clicking sound of bass cases closing all over the world as players exclaim with resignation, "Why bother?" Other artists he produced then included Eddie Palmieri, Mother's Finest, and Pages, a band which went of to chart-topping success in the 80's as Mr. Mister.

While serving as Vice President/A&R at Epic Records, Bobby took over executive production of an album by a group whose career was in need of resuscitation. The album was Destiny ; the group was The Jacksons. That multi-platinum smash paved the way for the historic success of Michael Jackson in the years to come. A five-year tenure as Vice President/A&R at Capitol Records led to Bobby producing hit albums by such artists as America and Tavares. During this time, he also opened up a very different career path, signing on as correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight." Covering the music scene as an objective reporter was a challenge for the life-long insider. "I learned you don't do a story on an act unless there was a point of view, an angle," he says. "A&R people don't usually think that way. But marketing people do."

As comfortable as he was in front of the camera, Bobby preferred being behind the scenes, working with top musical talent. While serving as a senior A&R consultant with EMI/Manhattan Records, he signed and developed such esteemed artists as Robbie Nevil, Thomas Dolby, and the multi-platinum selling hit maker Richard Marx.

Despite his many years in the business, Bobby Colomby has never lost his enthusiasm for music and the artists that create it. "I get as much joy seeing the acts I work with have hits as I did when I had my own success as an artist," says Bobby. "It's the paternal instinct. In my work, you adopt artists, and you feel very close to them. If you have the expertise, they know they can call on you. The joy is in having contributed to their careers."

As for the future, Bobby looks forward to new challenges with his new label, Signal 21 Music (with co-founder/artist Richard Marx) and as a Senior Consultant with Sony Music's Digital Media Ventures.

"I like being able to recognize the vision of artist and guide them through the system," he says. "When you have a team of people in place that want to work in a synergistic way, and you can make them feel relevant, essential and appreciated, you can put together a great company." Of course, the key ingredient is great music, but Bobby doesn't necessarily subscribe to the conventional wisdom on that subject. "There are plenty of legitimate, magical, unique artists out there not getting a chance because they don't sound like anybody else," adds Bobby. "People often ask, 'How can you sell something unique?' Actually, it's much easier to sell something unique and memorable than to sell an imitation. You must hold the integrity of the artist in the highest regard. There's no other way."

If that sounds a bit brazen, Bobby isn't worried. He knows that his passion for great music has carried him through so far, and will tomorrow. As he says, "When you cross paths with brilliance, and you want to bring that genius to the world, you shouldn't worry about the naysayers. Our obligation in the music business is to seek and expose the highest level of artistry regardless of genre."

Career Highlights

Mr. Colomby's achievements throughout his remarkable career in the music industry have included being the Senior Vice President for Creative Development at Sony Music, Vice President-Artist & Repertoire at Capitol and Epic Records, Senior Consultant for Warner Brothers Pictures Music, Senior Consultant Sony Music New Technology, Music Consultant at EMI/Manhattan Records, Music Commentator for “CBS Morning Show”, Correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” at Paramount Communications as well as the founding member, leader, producer and drummer of the innovative and highly successful Jazz-Rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears .