Audio Caviar: Transoceanic – 2002
Produced by: Ralph Johnson
Encanto Pacific Entertainment
Ralph Johnson comes forth with his "Smooth Jazz with an R&B edge" solo project, aided by Morris Pleasure on piano and bass, and Steen Kyed on acoustic guitar. Special guests are George Duke, Philip Bailey, Howard Hewett and Jonathan Butler. [] []

Brick: Stoneheart – 1979 Brick: By the Moonlight Brick: Dancing Man
Produced by: Bill Schnee
Label: Bang Records
Not available on CD! Very good album featuring the flute-playing Jimmi Brown. Inventor of the so-called Dazz sound (Danceable Jazz) also adapted by Kinsman Dazz/Dazz Band. Available on CD is the 12 track "Best of Brick" (Epic EK 66870) from 1995. This is pretty average and missing some crucial cuts in my opinion.

Paulinho DaCosta: Happy People – 1979
Produced by: Paulinho DaCosta
Label: Pablo
Having played on hundreds of albums Happy People is one of DaCostas’ few albums as a leader. Including a whole warehouse full of his L.A. studio colleagues (Larry Carlton, Greg Phillinganes, Nathan Watts, et al.), DaCosta leads a slick R&B session that could easily have been mistaken for an Earth, Wind and Fire album. Including Al McKay and Philip Bailey.

Emotions: Best of My Love – 1996
Produced by: Maurice White & Charles Stepney
Label: Columbia Legacy
Very good compilation containing 16 tracks and excellent sound quality. Many cuts produced by Maurice.

Hi Tension:  s/t – 1978 Hi-Tension: Hi-Tension Hi-Tension: British Hustle Hi-Tension: Unspoken Hi-Tension: Peace On Earth
Produced by: Alex Sadkin & Kofi Ayivor
Label: Island
Only available on LP. British jazz/funk/disco act somewhat influenced by EW&F. A not-so-good "Best Of" CD including some of vocalist David Joseph’s solo stuff was released in the UK in 1993. (IMCD 157 514 828-2)

Kinsman Dazz: Kinsman Dazz – 1978 
Produced by: Tommy Viari/Philip Bailey/Ralph Johnson
Kinsman Dazz: Dazz – 1979
 Kinsman Dazz: Saturday Night Kinsman Dazz: Get Down With the Feelin' 
Produced by: Tommy Viari/Philip Bailey/Pat Glasser
Label: 20th Century

Combining two Cleveland funk outfits, Bell Telefunk and the Kinsman Grill house band, two albums were released on 20th Century Fox. They took the name from the Kinsman Grill and added Dazz (Danceable Jazz), a word used by Brick in their hit "Dusic". With Philip Bailey producing, arranging, co-writing, singing background and acting as the groups mentor, Kinsman Dazz clearly sounded something in between Brick and EW&F. Their 1978 debut is a bit more disco and not as good as their second offering, the 1979 "Dazz". The rock-alike guitar opening on "Saturday Night" is just awesome! Both albums only avail. on LP.

Ronnie Laws: Solid Ground – 1981
Produced by: Ronnie Laws
Label: Liberty [CD Reissue by Blue Note 1999]
Jazz/Funk sax player and former EW&F member Ronnie Laws has released nearly 20 albums since he left EW&F in the early days. Solid Ground was re-issued on CD in 1999 by Blue Note and features Ronald Bautista and Larry Dunn. Included is the very nice ballad "Stay Awake".

Ramsey Lewis: Sun Goddess – 1974
Ramsey Lewis: Routes – 1980

Produced by: Maurice White & Ramsey Lewis
Label: Columbia
Featuring the original recording of the classic jazz/funk title track "Sun Goddess" and contains most of the EW&F members from that period.
Routes (LP only) is not quite as strong as Sun Goddess, but also includes EW&F members Maurice White, Ronald Bautista, Fred White, Al McKay, Larry Dunn, Don Myrick, Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Davis.

Al McKay Allstars: Al Dente – 2001
Produced by: Maurice White & Ramsey Lewis
Label: Videoart Music Japan
Former EW&F member solo album featuring Al’s recordings of some EW&F classics;
Getaway, September, Evil, Fantasy, Singasong and Love’s Holiday. The album is overall a bit uneven, but his new 6:44 version of "Evil" is a killer, and probably alone worth the whole album!

Ohio Players: Skin Tight – 1974 
Ohio Players: Honey – 1975 

Ohio Players: Contradiction – 1976 

Ohio Players: Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee – 1978
Label: Mercury
Produced by: Ohio Players
Ohio Players were among the top funk outfits of the mid 70s and this is classic jazz/funk CDs with the original cover artwork (for those of you knowing what I’m talking about :-). Excellent sound, even though these 4 OP albums are getting close to 30 years old. Listen specially to the killer horn arrangements and the drum sound. Featuring the special and easy recognizable singing style by Sugar. This style was also to some extent, done by Michael Cooper of ConFunkShun, Larry Blackmon of Cameo and Larry Dodson of Bar-Keys. There are several "best of" CDs available, but beware – not all are that good. If you’ve got a DTS surround amplifier, you should definitely try the DTS version of "Honey". It sounds great!

Pockets: Come Go With Us – 1977 Pockets: Come Go With Me  Pockets: Pasado
Pockets: Take It On Up – 1978
Pockets: Take It On Up Pockets: Happy For Love
Pockets: So Delicious – 1979
Label: Sony Japan
Produced by: Verdine White & Robert Wright
This is as close to Earth Wind & Fire you’ll get!
The Baltimore based The Pockets teamed up with Verdine White of EW&F and delivered an excellent performance on their first two albums. Very good EW&F-like sound and highly recommended Japan only CD reissues. Also available are the "Golden Classics" (US Collectables Records 5811) containing most of the tracks from both "Come Go With Us" and "Take It On Up" plus a couple of tracks from from their last release "So Delicious" from 1979.

Bill Meyers: All Things In Time – 1996
Produced by: Bill Meyers, Jimi Randolph & Maurice White
Label: Videoarts Music Japan
Talented songwriter/arranger and keyboard player. Worked with EWF on Powerlight, Touch The World and Millennium. Have also been working with acts like Al Jarreau, Rufus, Donna Summer, Deniece Williams and The Emotions. This CD features Maurice White and includes an excellent version of the Donny Hathaway penned "Valdez In The Country".

Freddie Ravel: Sol to Soul – 1996
Produced by: Maurice White & Freddie Ravel
Label: Polygram – 314 526 780-2
A very good Latin influenced album from this former EWF keyboard player. Great horn arrangements. The album features Maurice and Verdine White on some tracks. The album has a superb sound and is also available in Sony’s SACD format. Check out Freddie’s Homepage at

Splendor: s/t – 1979
Produced by: Philip Bailey, Tommy Vicari and Robert Nunn
Label: Columbia [CD reissue Sony Music Japan – SRCS 6439]
Very late 70’s EW&F sound featuring Philip Bailey, Johnny Graham and Don Myrick. Jap CD reissue is now deleted.

Stargard: The Changing of the Gard – 1979
Produced by: Verdine White & Robert Wright
Label: Warner Bros.
LP only! Stargard’s third album was produced by Verdine White and Robert Wright and contained the single "Wear It Out." A very good album that should have done way better than it did. Somebody get this out on CD!

Urban Knights: II – 1997
Urban Knights: I – 1995

Produced by: Maurice White and Bill Meyers
Label: GRP
The smooth jazz all-star collective Urban Knights features pianist Ramsey Lewis as its constant member. Volume 1 is also featuring Sonny Emory, Sheldon Reynolds, Morris Pleasure, Bill Meyers and The Emotions among others. The second volume features Verdine White, Sonny Emory, Sheldon Reynolds, Morris Pleasure and Bill Meyers among others. Check out The Urban Knights Homepage

Deniece Williams: Gonna Take a Miracle – 1996
Produced by: Maurice White, Charles Stepney, David Foster, Thom Bell & George Duke
Label: Columbia Legacy
Very good 16 track compilation. Legacy Records has done a great job in picking the "right" songs and the sound quality is superb. Also in this series is The Manhattans, The Intruders, The O’Jays and MFSB, – Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia Int. Record’s house band.

Gunnar Homdrum 1996 © 2005