OK, you all know I'm a wannabee Steely Dan guitarist! However, they are only the #2 band I'd like to play with. Steely Dan tracks have too many complex chords and changes to wrestle with. I'd prefer something easier to play - but just as rewarding.
So, the #1 band I'd like to play with is... the Crusaders. They are the ultimate good time vibe band. Their music is so simple, it's a joy to play and great to solo over.
You may not have even heard of them. Apart from their one hit 'Street Life' featuring Randy Crawford they've had little commercial success. I first saw them live in the 70's. They were a supergroup of Black Jazz giants; Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper, Wayne Henderson, Pops Powell (bass), Joe Sample (keys).
They had this young white punk guitar prodigy and these jazz giants let this guy take the main soloist role. All I remember of the gig was a guitar player with a huge smile and a Gibson 335 play flawless, high energy licks. His name was Larry Carlton and he went on to make 12 other albums with them.
Go to 5.24 on this 1976 live video to see Larry's style when he played with the Crusaders back then...