MAURICE WHITE, Rest in Power.

Written on:February 8, 2016
Comments
Add One

This week, millions mourn the passing of MAURICE WHITE, drummer, songwriter, arranger, singer, producer, and co-founder of the influential group, Earth, Wind & Fire. We share just a bit about his life….

Maurice “Reese” White was born December 19, 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a doctor. Like many young boys, “Reese” found his first audience in his family, who encouraged his interests. At the age of six, he began singing in the church with a group of other young singers. And then, after viewing a drum and bugle corps marching down the street, Maurice White was inspired to take up the drums, and it helped to set the course for his life.

After high school, Maurice White moved to Chicago, Illinois, to attend the Chicago Conservatory of Music. Chicago was a major hub for music and White went to work for Chicago’s Chess Recording Company. For five years, he mastered many styles of music, playing on sessions for greats such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, The Impressions, The Dells, Little Milton, Chester Burnett and Billy Stewart. Maurice White left Chicago to tour with The Dells as their drummer, and later, White became a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio.

A deeply spiritual man,Maurice White had always had a plan to play his own music, music that would lift the consciousness of the listeners, to give them pride, a sense of belonging…to bring an awareness of the magnitude of pure love. Then, in the 1970’s, together with his brother, Verdine White, he formed his dream band, Earth Wind & Fire.

Their band was an incredible amalgam of African and African-American styles – particularly jazz and R&B. Their positive energy and deft blending of the musical styles of many cultures appealed to the broadest range of listeners, and they bridged the gap between black and white music. “I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before,” Maurice explained. “Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music…which somehow ended up becoming pop. We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners’ our spiritual content.”

Earth Wind & Fire became one of the largest crossover bands in history, reaching both black and white markets. They were the first black performers to receive Madison Square Garden’s Gold Ticket Award for selling more than 100,000 tickets. Earth Wind & Fire also had the distinction of being the first black performers to receive the Columbia Records Crystal Globe Award for selling more than five million albums in foreign markets.

Later in life, Maurice White was advised to stop touring with Earth, Wind & Fire, due to the limitations of his health. Always creative and open, he branched out in his career, writing and producing artists that he enjoyed, such as Ramsey Lewis, Deniece Williams, Freddie Ravel, Barbra Streisand, the Emotions and Neil Diamond – still sharing his massive talents and influencing popular music.

Maurice White has been honored with many awards. He is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and The Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and he is represented with his own star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The greatest measure of his success, Maurice White holds a place in the hearts of millions. His pure message of love reaches people of all backgrounds and races — as he knew it should, as he knew it would. Enjoy that “ride in the sky,” Maurice. You are so greatly loved.

Here, Maurice White with Earth, Wind & Fire, a song he co-wrote with Freddie Ravel, “Honor the Magic” ~

.

– Robin Laurie Stewart

Boney James

Written on:August 31, 2015
Boney James

NUMBER ONE on Billboard‘s Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart, “Futuresoul” from saxophonist, producer, songwriter, BONEY JAMES! James’ latest album on Concord Records debuted at Number One and has now held that spot for sixteen weeks! Another step in what James calls his evolution, “Futuresoul” deftly combines Boney James’ modern production sounds with his love of classic Soul. Says James, “The forms I’m working with are rooted in my early influences…like King…

Read more...

Johannes Linstead releases a new album, Midnight Rhumba. Listen to it here.

Written on:November 6, 2014
midnight-rhumba-cover-1500

Johannes has gone above and beyond with his contemporary flamenco guitar music with this album.  It is new, fast, and has the beat of a lover.  He bares his soul to the world with this album. Listen to the track Midnight Rhumba from the self-same album by Johannes Linstead.   “Midnight Rhumba” available on iTunes, Amazon.com and johanneslinstead.com/main/mp3s/

Read more...

New album from Paul Brown

Written on:July 29, 2014
PBTruthBToldFinal

 Exclusive! (Click here) Listen to “Take It From Me” from Paul Brown’s new album “Truth B Told” released buy Woodward Avenue Records Always a favorite of ours, having been interviewed multiple times, we’re super excited to highlight Paul Brown’s new album, Truth B Told, with a first-time-ever release of the single Take It From Me, exclusively here on AJazzLife.com.  

Read more...

Greg Adams and Lee Thornberg of East Bay Soul

Written on:July 17, 2013
1 EBS40

Greg Adams, founding member of Tower of Power, and world renowned horn composer and arranger with his own band, East Bay Soul. Click here to see these pictures. 

Read more...

New Music from Jose Rizo’s Mongorama

Written on:July 17, 2013
1004793_631673256843432_358750552_n

NEW MUSIC: Officially released today, an album entitled “Baila que Baila” from JOSE RIZO’S MONGORAMA! “Baila que Baila” is the second album from Jose Rizo’s Mongorama. Their first received the 2012 Grammy Nomination in the Latin Tropical Jazz category! The dream band became reality for Jose Rizo, who is not only a musician and bandleader, but also a disc jockey on LA’s KJAZZ 88.1 FM. He is a performer, as…

Read more...

Reinhold Schwarzwald Group with Patrice Rushen in LA.

Written on:July 9, 2013
Reinhold Schwarzwald Group with Patrice Rushen in LA.

Click here to check out our photo album of The REINHOLD SCHWARZWALD GROUP with PATRICE RUSHEN, at LA County Museum of Art.   Reinhold Schwarzwald Group, playing tonight, July 11, 2013, at Catalina’s in Hollywood.

Read more...

Acoustic Alchemy at Thornton Winery Photo Album

Written on:July 2, 2013
Three

Click here to check out the photo album of Acoustic Alchemy on our Facebook page.

Read more...

Happy Birthday Max Bennett

Written on:May 24, 2013
Happy Birthday Max Bennett

A Jazz Life talks with MAX BENNET about his life and career, spanning bebop to contemporary jazz.  

Read more...

A Jazz Life is Back!

Written on:May 24, 2013
1000895_614088851935206_656578833_n

A Jazz Life is back! The world of communication has turned upside down. But musicians still want to play music. Fans still want to hear music. And Robin Laurie still takes you behind the scenes with today’s artists! Now on FACEBOOK. A Jazz Life – with Robin Laurie! Click here to go to A Jazz Life Facebook page

Read more...
facebook