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Philip Bailey

Philip Bailey

His was the soaring supple falsetto voice on “Reasons” and the modulation-manic “After the Love Has Gone,” and scores of other tunes running through the heads of pop radio listeners and Earth, Wind and Fire aficionados alike. And Philip Bailey, like other E,W&F members, musically was as grounded in jazz as other elements. During their late ’70s hit parade, E,W&F managed to inject more jazz elements into commercial radio than just about any group. The original goal of Bailey’s new current solo album, Dreams (Heads Up), was to pay tribute to the jazz he was weaned on as a young singer and drummer growing up in Denver, but it turned more “radio-friendly” along the way.

As Bailey said in an interview, on a break from an Earth, Wind and Fire reunion tour, “I was thinking that we would do a record of standards, but (Heads Up founder) Dave Love wanted a record that was a little more Adult Contemporary, with jazz overtones, matching me with different instrumentalists.”

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