Earth Wind and Fire is a jazz-funk band from Chicago, Illinois. The group was formed in 1969 on the initiative of Maurice White.
Its most notable feature was its ability to innovate by introducing and mixing in a scholarly and unprecedented way elements from the African, Brazilian, Cuban and Caribbean musical traditions to its funk characterized by a section of copper of high quality (the Phenix Horns) and arrangements borrowed from both jazz and symphonic music.
The music of Earth, Wind and Fire has sometimes been called “symphonic funk”. The band also distinguished itself by the complementarity of its two singers Maurice White who was a baritone and Philip Bailey who sings in Falsetto (whose remarkable vocal abilities span several octaves).
Formed in 1969 in Chicago by Maurice White, a former studio drummer, and his younger brothers Verdon (vocals, bass, percussion) and Fred (drums), Earth Wind & Fire released his first self-titled album in 1971. of his 10 members, including Philip Bailey (vocals and percussion), Larry Dunn (keyboards), Ralph Johnson (drums, vocals), Al McKay and Johnny Graham (guitar) and Andrew Woolfolk (flute and saxos), already print a style that originality comes from gender diversity. P>
In 1974, the arrival of the producer Charles Stepney marks a turning point by bringing to the formation another polarity, other values. The rise of the disco music is very close and Maurice White wishes to give more musicality to his songs. From this change of course will be born the album That’s the Way of the World em> (1975). Inside, Shining Star em>, the first big planetary tube in the group. The title is three weeks ahead of the top ” pop Billboard, usually reserved for white artists. The rising value of Earth Wind & Fire is confirmed during the tour with Santana. Uninhibited, the band rivals the master of the rock-latino guitar and EWF has the feeling of being able to afford everything. P>
The formation is on all fronts, always seeing bigger and aspiring giant concerts in the stadiums. On stage, the pyrotechnics is already there. Earth Wind & Fire invites the best technical side but also side choreography and costume, to innovate always and again. Albums Spirit em> (1976), All’n’All em> (1977) I Am em> (1978) and Faces em> (1980) produce in turn their string of titles cut for the dancefloor. Boogie Wonderland em> (1979), inherited directly from the dico, will be broadcast until saturation on American radios. Earth Wind & Fire’s records are so perfected that they end up captivating jazz fans, who are so attentive to the writing and playing of musicians. The end of the seventies will be the heyday of the group, selling millions of records and rivaling the biggest. P>
At the end of the 1970s, the group’s path, supported by a policy too commercial at the request of their record company and artistic decisions taken arbitrarily, precipitated the decline of the group which then did not only alternative to parting. P>
From 1984, Maurice White devoted himself to the production (Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Chaka Khan, The Emotions …) until the day Phil Collins, who does not dry up dislikes about Earth Wind & Fire , ends up convincing Maurice White to reconstitute the group. This return in 1987 will not allow the group to return to success as in the past & nbsp; the funk music that fed the band was really out of date. His rescue from oblivion, happy / unhappy, will come a few years later with the advent of electro music, thanks to DJs who will see in the music of Earth Wind & Fire matter to animate their show. In their hands, EWF will be reduced to a few samples, remixes & nbsp; a misery considering the legacy brought by the group. P>
Over time, new musicians integrate the training, but gradually see the presence of their leader. In 1994, Maurice White announces that he leaves the stage definitively. Reached Parkinson’s disease, he will continue to be involved as a composer and singer for each new album. The man of light becomes a man of the shadow, but proud to have brought such a sumptuous musical heritage. For him, Earth Wind & Fire was one of the few African-American groups to break down racial taboos, to bring together the different communities, white, black and Latin, simply by the music rather than by the militancy, without impregnating their songs of politics or provocation, but preferring to bring people closer through dance. p>