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Posts from the ‘Maurice White’ Category

18
Sep

Maurice White – Maurice White (1985) – Lp

Maurice White (December 19, 1941 – February 3, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He was the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire.

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Artist:  Maurice White
Title:  Maurice White
Year:  1985
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  26637

In 1985, White released a solo album entitled Maurice White that included a cover of Ben E. King‘s “Stand by Me,” featuring a guest appearance by jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright and the moderate hit “I Need You.”

Earth, Wind & Fire‘s mentor, Maurice White, gives an excellent account on this solo debut. His vocal ability, overshadowed by Philip Bailey in EWF, is out front here with a potpourri of songs that showcases his versatility. “Switch on Your Radio” has a happy Caribbean feel, similar to an EWF recording, but somehow different. The infectious “Jamboree” is not country but another hand-clapping, good times tune that toddlers try to sing. White‘s rendition of Ben E. King‘s “Stand By Me” has a herky, jerky beat; the backing vocals fill in spaces like horns. It charted but not very high, and gave people the wrong impression of this album; it’s the only remake, and Maurice‘s sole attempt at nostalgia. Everything else is fresh as a morning shower, like “I Need You,” a classy ballad tenderized by White‘s crafty read. Side two opens with “Believe in Magic,” an upbeat, banging jam that has EWF stamped on it. The only thing missing is Philip Bailey‘s sweet falsetto, but even without Bailey it sounds like a hit, yet it didn’t bust a grape. You get the feeling White tried to duplicate Lionel Richie‘s success, especially on “The Lady Is Love,” a lilting mid-tempo love declaration. The robotic “Invitation” reminds you of Midnight Star and similar strobe-light bands. White locks the vocal down so tight, you’d think he performed songs like this all the time. His kalimba playing accents “Children of Afrika,” a joyous tribute with an assembly of backing vocalists, including the Neighborhood Choir. White‘s limited range holds up well over the course of this album, and the razor-sharp productions never become boring.

 

Side one
1.  Switch On Your Radio  (4:17)
2.  Jamboree  (3:27)
3.  Stand By Me  (4:10)
4.  Sea Of Glass  (0:44)
5.  I Need You  (4:36)

Side two
1.  Believe In Magic  (4:35)
2.  Lady Is Love  (5:06)
3.  Invitation  (3:57)
4.  The Sleeping Flame  (2:02)
5.  Children Of Afrika  (4:40)
6.  Alpha Dance  (1:16)

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