all about MAURICE WHITE | Unique74 | Props
Lately, i’ve been putting together final tracks for upcoming releases this summer. During that process, i’ve been wanting to incorporate elements outside of my “normal” recording process. I’ve been pondering the idea of playing rhythm guitar, I also have been overdubbing a lot of my own live drums just to explore new rhythms. During this past month I have been listening to a lot of early Chicago Funk-Soul (mainly Chess-Brunswick and other off beat labels). When I think of Chicago Soul, I cant help but think about my hero the great Maurice White. Besides being leader of the iconic funk-jazz-soul unit Earth Wind and Fire, he was a also a drummer on many of the sessions at Chess records (along with Morris Jennings). Countless sessions such as “Rescue Me”, “Sitting In The Park, “Grits Aint Grocery” (been wearing out Little Milton’s collection this week!) bear the back beat of Maurice White.
I just so happen to have a kalimba at the lab and I couldn’t help thinking about the story from my uncle (who is very close to Mr White) explaining to me how Mr White and the kalimba came about. According to his recollection, it was at a music store located in Chicago called “Frank’s” where Mr. White’s first encounter with the kalimba took place during the mid 60’s and he has been playing it ever since.
I remember seeing Mr White a couple of times during my early college days (he was always at my bank, amazing!!) and I always felt nervous in going up to shake his hand. But I waved at him, he waved back and my day was made just on that alone. There are very few like Mr. White that went through the various stages of growth and mastered the art of production and recording. There is a leadership quality (reflecting the work ethic of a Mr. White) that is lacking in today’s so-called “modern era” where there are very few artists who take risk and plentiful are willing to follow the depreciated sound pallet only to become flavor of the month. I write this in showing recognition and appreciation to one of my musical heroes who went against the grain and is a constant inspiration. Thank You Mr. White!
This entry was posted on May 18, 2010 by unique74mag. It was filed under RESPECT, Unique 74 and was tagged with A-SKI, Chess, CHICAGO, Dance, Earth Wind and Fire, FUNK, Icon, JAZZ, MAURICE WHITE, Pop, PROGRESSIVE!, R&B, Soul, Unique74.