Ivory was formed in early 1972 as a backup band for the lead singer,
Grant Gullickson. However, Grant was somewhat uncomfortable with being
the star, and wanted more of a "band" concept. Grant had been in a
very successful band while he was in college, called the
Canoise. Grant's friend and producer, Tim Alvarado, had the idea to
create an all-keyboard band, with no electric guitarist at
all. Originally, it was going to consist of three keyboardists and a
drummer, but it was soon clear that with the superb musicians Paul
Bass on Hammond organ, and Brian Whitcomb on piano, the sound was full
and complex. Jim Divisek brought a strong rock feel on drums, but also
a focus on eastern rhythms and electronic music acquired during his
studies at Cal Arts. Steve Pinkston joined the group after their first
bass player did not work out. Later, Grant's brother Lance Gullickson
joined the group, and brought expanded vocal harmonies and songwriting
skills to the mix.
Ivory has generally been described as a progressive or "prog-rock"
band. Certainly, one could hear echoes of Yes, King Crimson, and
Procol Harum in their music. But there was also a bit of a jazz
influence at work. Live, the group would often do instrumental sets of
jazz standards like "Summertime" or "Milestones". Grant's singing
onstage was vastly more dynamic than was ever captured in a recording
studio, and the live interplay between the musicians was very intense.
Ivory recorded just one album, a self-titled effort on Playboy Records
(#PB115), produced by Tim Alvarado. Most of the album was recorded at
the legendary Record Plant in Los Angeles. Two different versions were
released. On the second version, a Robbie Robertson tune replaced a
Kin Vassey tune, in order to qualify as "Canadian content" under that
country's airplay rules.
--from the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock