Acclaimed pop/R&B vocalist Philip Bailey, who first gained renown with supergroup Earth Wind & Fire, moves into the R&B/jazz-flavored realm with his new Heads Up International release Dreams (HUCD 3048) . The enhanced disc features ten tracks plus a video of Bailey and keyboardist Keiko Matsui performing the jazz standard, "Return To Paradise."
Dreams, produced by Erik Huber, Robert Brookins and Morris Pleasure, brings together an all star lineup of contemporary jazz musicians, including Gerald Albright, Randy Brecker, Luis Conte, George Duke, Everette Harp, Joe McBride, Pat Metheny, Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Peter White.
Bailey, whose four-octave range and trademark falsetto are immediately recognizable to fans of such Grammy-winning EWF hits as "Shining Star," "All 'N All," "After The Love Has Gone," and "I Wanna Be With You," notes that while his early success came in the pop music realm, his first love always has been jazz. "My best friend's mom had a great collection of jazz albums, which I was just crazy about," he recalls. "While all the other kids in the neighborhood would be outside playing, I'd be in the house in front of the record player. Miles and Coltrane, drurnmers like Max Roach and Art Blakey, have always been icons for me."
The popular singer has ventured into the jazz realm as a guest on such earlier albums as Fourplay, with the group's original lineup of Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason and Lee Ritenour, and Pride of Lions, which featured such jazz luminaries as Tony Williams, Billy Childs and Roy Hargrove.
On Dreams, Bailey and his fellow musicians lend a jazzy feel to a few pop favorites, such as Van Morrison's "Moondance," Bread's "Make It With You," and Earth Wind & Fire's "Sail Away." The album also features a version of the '40s jazz standard, "The Masquerade Is Over," as well as the Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays composition, "Something to Remind You" (a song originally inspired by Earth Wind & Fire). Producers Eric Huber and Robert Brookins, with Philip and his son Sir Bailey, penned the remaining five songs on the disc.