Tom Glide - In the Name of Luv (2010)

Tom Glide
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Go down the names in the credits of In the Name of Luv, the latest album by Tom Glide and the Luv All Stars and you will notice a couple of familiar names - especially if you're an Earth, Wind & Fire fan (as I am). Rahmlee Michael Davis gets credit for the horn arrangements, producer, trumpet, clavinet and vocals. Larry Dunn gets credited for his work on the keyboards and synthesizer. Rahmlee Michael Davis might be better known as a member of the Phenix Horns, the outfit responsible for the sound that gave EW&F one of soul and pop music's best horn sections. Dunn was EW&F's keyboard player and founding member. So it is not surprising that Tom Glide and the Luv All Stars sport a sound that is deeply influenced by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Go down the names in the credits of In the Name of Luv, the latest album by Tom Glide and the Luv All Stars and you will notice a couple of familiar names - especially if you're an Earth, Wind & Fire fan (as I am). Rahmlee Michael Davis gets credit for the horn arrangements, producer, trumpet, clavinet and vocals. Larry Dunn gets credited for his work on the keyboards and synthesizer. Rahmlee Michael Davis might be better known as a member of the Phenix Horns, the outfit responsible for the sound that gave EW&F one of soul and pop music's best horn sections. Dunn was EW&F's keyboard player and founding member. So it is not surprising that Tom Glide and the Luv All Stars sport a sound that is deeply influenced by Earth, Wind & Fire.

The fact of the matter is that EW&F has been around for such a long time that the band's influence is a mile wide and just as deep. That influence can be seen in the many rap groups and singers who have sampled EW&F songs, as well as in the groups and individuals ranging from The Emotions and Denise Williams to The Tubes who have been produced by Maurice White. That influence can also be seen in the many EW&F alums taking the group's sounds in many different directions.

Chris gave me the assignment to review the album Transoceanic by the group Audio Caviar soon after I joined the Soultracks staff in 2007. That group included several EW&F alums including Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Phillip Bailey, Morris Pleasure and Paulinho DeCosta. Audio Caviar became a link to the days before EW&F became a worldwide soul and pop phenomenon by playing the jazz-based funk and soul that the group was known for prior to That's the Way of the World.

Tom Glide's sound moves a decade up on the EW&F chronology to the late 1970s and early 1980s - an era that includes Grammy winning albums like I Am and some that are perhaps under appreciated albums like Electric Universe. Energetic up tempo songs that feature blaring horns and inspirational lyrics and solid ballads like "Crazy" and "In The Name of Luv" will remind listeners that EW&F was as much an ideal as a band. The group was always about uplifting and making people feel good.  Through the use of original music, Tom Glide and the Luv All Stars provides a solid overview of the music EW&F made during a productive if somewhat underappreciated period. Who knows, the blaring horns and tight vocal harmonies on a song like "Love is Coming Up" might encourage someone to take another listen to some of that old EW&F. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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