One of my favorite lyrics is – “I ain’t got no type…I like what I like,” from Rae Sremmurd’s ‘No Type’ song. That’s kinda how I feel about music and my reaction to the passing of Maurice White proves it.
Ursula Brown commented on Joe Kane’s Facebook post with two words: “It’s Personal”. That’s how she described the passing of Maurice White, founder of Earth Wind & Fire. There couldn’t be a better way to put it, because us 60s and 70s kids were raised on EWF music and we all have our favorite songs and moments with those songs.
The age of bands has nearly disappeared in R&B music. In fact, most of today’s performers don’t play instruments at all other than their voices. For those of us who grew up on bands – funk bands, rock bands and jazz bands – the ultimate R&B band was Earth Wind & Fire.
The R&B group with similar cross over appear was Kool and the Gang, but they were a jazz band turned R&B where EWF took it even further with full orchestration. In today’s world, The Roots could be considered the hottest contemporary music band working today. Watching them perform for almost every act on the 4th of July Celebration in Philly each year is a testament to their talent and stamina. I don’t know how they play for 6 hours straight on a summer’s day in Philly.
In the last few years, we’ve lost some giants in R&B who were still capable of performing – Whitney, Michael, Luther & Natalie – and if you take any of them out of their productions, you are left with virtually nothing.
Although Maurice White was the founder, EWF didn’t have a front man. They operated on the team concept where every player was just as critical as the other. Earth Wind and Fire is bigger than Maurice White, the giant that brought them to the light.
Maurice’s passing just reminds us of how great those Earth Wind and Fire songs are. The music isn’t going anywhere. “I like what I like!”
That’s why it’s so personal.