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elemental hero.

It’s been a heavy posting day for me, with this being my fifth of the afternoon. However, I can’t sign off today without paying respects to one of my early musical heroes, MAURICE WHITE, of EARTH WIND & FIRE. Their music, with his voice in the lead position for much of it, was seminal in my musical education with its soulfulness, funkiness, and its well-informed incorporation of rhythms from around the world, especially those of Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. I suppose that my affinity for international sounds began with the music of EWF, having been exposed to their music at a young age via older cousins who had their album covers pinned to their bedroom walls and the vinyl on their old turntable platters whenever I’d visit.  Since then, my musical journey has just been a trip back to where those sounds originated.

With that, back in February 2010, I was invited to play a live set at DJ PHATRICK’s “DEVIL’S PIE” event, which at the time was held in the northeast Los Angeles community of Glassell Park at the Verdugo Bar. They asked their visiting deejays to play a mix of songs that paid tribute to the work of a favorite musical artist. I chose EWF. Inspired by the collection of songs I chose for that night, I would later record a mix that would commemorate EWF’s 40th anniversary as a band in 2011-2012. It’s been posted here in the sidebar of this blogsite since…please scroll down and click the green ‘MIXCRATE’ widget and you’ll be taken straight to it. You’ll be able to stream or download the mix from the Devil’s Pie Soul Mixcrate page, where a complete track list is also posted. Hope you enjoy it!

I’m not sure who took this photo of Maurice white heading toward the Pyramids at Giza, but it’s a perfect way to remember him in his element. Rest in Peace.

Maurice White

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