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Earth Wind & Fire "Live on Soul" 1972
Early history.. Maurice White knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish when the Memphis-born, Chicago-reared drummer left his gig as a member of renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis's quartet and session drummer for the famed Chess Records.
Simply put, he wanted to form a band that abolished the lines between musical genres.
He wanted to be able to freely borrow from all styles of music without regard to convention.
"Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music which somehow ended up becoming pop," Maurice recalled. "I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before.
We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and Cosmic awareness and I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners spiritual content."
After heading west to Los Angeles, Maurice coaxed his younger brother Verdine, then nineteen, to join him.
Verdine was a classically trained bassist who previously had never been outside of Chicago.
The first grouping initially took the name "The Salty Peppers."
Maurice renamed the band Earth, Wind & Fire, which he took from his astrological chart (he's a Sagittarian - no water).
At first, EWF was loose and somewhat unfocused.
They even tried unsuccessfully using female singers in the mix.
After his vision wasn't quite realized on two 1971 albums for Warner Brothers Records, Maurice demolished the band to its foundation and rebuilt the unit, adding a four-octave singer-percussionist from Denver named Philip Bailey and a drummer-percussionist-vocalist from Los Angeles named Ralph Johnson. Verdine stuck around. Good thing.
Classic Earth Wind & Fire in their early days
This is an unreleased video
Picture Quality "Good"
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