The voice is unmistakable, as are many of the songs, but it is Earth Wind & Fire’s falsettoed front man’s treatments of standards and contemporary classics that make this album an intriguing and rewarding listen. From a smoothed-out yet still funky take on "Compared to What" to a gospely version of "Nature Boy" and a saxy stroll through "Mercy Mercy Mercy," Philip Bailey offers his own perspectives on these jazz vocal favorites. He goes further, however, on tracks like Monk’s "Dear Ruby" and Joe Zawinul’s "My Indiscretions," which is given voice by Bailey but receives actual words by his son Sir Bailey. "Bop-Skip-Doodle" takes the timeless sound of scat jazz into the modern age with the help of composer DJ Smash. Also along for the smooth jazz ride on Soul On Jazz are the legendary likes of producer Bob Belden and the original Blues Brother himself, Lou Marini. So whether you like the uptown groove of Chick Corea’s "Sometime Ago," the lullaby vibe of Herbie Hancock’s "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" or the elemental mixture of Maurice White’s "Keep Your Head to the Sky," rest assured that Bailey will reach a high note for you.
Track Listing: 1. My Indiscretions
2. Dear Ruby
3. Compared To What
4. Nature Boy
7. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
8. Keep Your Head To The Sky
9. Sometime Ago
10. Tell Me A Bedtime Story
11. On The Red Clay
Personnel: Philip Bailey -- vocals, timbales,
DJ Smash -- programming
Don Alias -- congas, percussion
John Hart -- solo guitar
Ronnie Cuber -- baritone saxophone
Billy Kilson -- drums
Mike "Dino" Campbell -- guitar
Ira Coleman -- acoustic bass
Lou Marini -- alto saxophone
David Dyson -- bass
David Whitworth -- background vocals
Charmaine Cousins -- background vocals
Billy Baker -- background vocals
Bob Belden -- producer, soprano saxophone
Scott Kinsey -- producer, keyboards
Myron McKinley -- producer, piano, melodica, keyboards
Scott Wendholt -- trumpet
Don Corey Washington -- background vocals
Alan Burroughs -- acoustic guitar
Robert Brookins -- background vocals
Daniel De Los Reyes -- congas
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.