Maurice White, 1941 – 2016
On the heels of the deaths of iconic rock musicians David Bowie and Glenn Frey comes the very sad news that Maurice White, the founder of the Earth, Wind and Fire, has died today at age 74. White’s music came to prominence in the thick of soul’s musical ascent, and E W & F embodied the sound of urban America at the time, their message communicated optimistically and on a large scale. White’s band possessed an unusual crossover appeal — the fact that his death has invited praise from prominent voices in the worlds of rock, soul, R&B, jazz and hip-hop is testament to that.
E W & F was on my turntable for years because I was so taken in by the band’s thrilling incorporation of big band jazz and R & B. The band’s horns would absolutely leap out of my speakers and stick to the ribs of my soul, inviting me to turn the volume up to “eleven”…
Read Peter Keepnews’ New York Times’ obituary of White here.
Check out the very cool 15 minute live performance film of E W & F from 1978