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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Philip Bailey goes solo with jazzy ‘Love Will Find a Way’

Philip Bailey, the legendary falsetto voiced, Grammy Award winner and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire is presenting his 12th solo release this week titled “Love Will Find A Way” via Verve Records.

On the album, the vocalist teams with trusted friends like bassist Christian McBride, the iconic jazz pianist Chick Corea and drum legend Steve Gadd, as well as several of the brightest contemporary lights in jazz, R&B, pop and more: keyboardist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, rapper, musician and producer will.i.am, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, singer-songwriter Bilal, singer-saxophonist Casey Benjamin, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Derrick Hodge, among many others. 

The project came together over a two-year period and was initiated after Bailey started becoming aware of this forward-looking, all-embracing jazz generation.

“I’d heard Rob Glasper was giving jazz a facelift,” Bailey says, and after attending the keyboardist’s live show, he was sold. Not only was the music hot and progressive, but the crowd was hip, diverse, youthful and passionate. 

Bailey quickly brought Glasper on board to play on and produce some tracks, and he became invaluable to the singer in recruiting musicians and other decisions. But Bailey also continued with his own research.

At Jazz Fest in New Orleans, he made a point of catching Kamasi Washington’s set and had a small-world moment. “Lo and behold, he introduced his father, [the woodwinds player Rickey Washington]. Me and Rickey had known each other for years!” Bailey recalls, chuckling. “We went to the same church! Kamasi went to Bible school with my kids.”

“Artists like Robert and Kamasi and Christian,” he continues, “they embrace the nuances of jazz and its historical value, but they’ve really infused the game with new possibilities. And I’ve been the recipient of that infusion.”

Among the highlights are a West African-tinged take on Curtis Mayfield’s “Billy Jack,” a sweetly grooving rendition of the Return to Forever classic “You’re Everything” with Corea, a Kalimba laden “Brooklyn Blues,” Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” reinvented as a slow jam, and the Pharoah Sanders composed title track.

BET EXPERIENCE: The star-studded week continues with rapper/activist Meek Mill, YG, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Blueface and Roddy Rich at Staples Center June 21. The venue hosts Cardi B, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and Triple Redd the following night.

INSIDE THE DEALMAKER: For something more than the Netflix viewing experience, consider attending Reel To Reel: The Black Godfather featuring a post-screening conversation with the documentary’s director Reginald Hudlin and producer Nicole Avant, who happens to be the daughter of the film’s focus Clarence Avant). It takes place at The Grammy Museum June 25 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

CLIPPETTES: Keyboardist Patrice Rushen performs for one night only at the World Stage Performance Gallery June 21 …

Sanaa Lathan will become the new voice of Catwoman for an upcoming DC Universe animated “Harley Quinn” series featuring Kaley Cuoco (“Big Bang Theory”) as the popular Joker sidekick. Also cast are Wanda Sykes, JB Smoove, Giancarlo Esposito, Natalie Morales, Ron Funches and Jason Alexander

A ground-breaking pairing of Grammy-nominated one-man band Raul Midón with Benin guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke has been added to the June 22 KJAZZ 88.1 Summer Benefit Concert with the incomparable Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Walt Disney Concert Hall … 

Also that evening, “The African Prince of Comedy” Michael Blackson and fellow comics B. Simone and James Davis bring the laughs to The Novo with host Royal Watkins

Meanwhile in Santa Monica is another collaboration featuring neo-soul mainstay Gary Taylor and renowned guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. at The Broad Stage; and famed alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and his quintet at the Moss Theater …

Mary Wilson is behind a coffee table book “Supreme Glamour” based on the gowns of The Supremes coming in September. It will be her fourth book …

The legendary Guitar Shorty, credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, gives a special performance at The Rose/Pasadena on June 23 …

Congrats to Erica Gimpel, who rose to fame as television’s Coco on “Fame” in the ‘80s, on being promoted to series regular for the second season of CBS’s “God Friended Me” as Joe Morton’s love interest …

Van Hunt performs at The Virgil June 25, celebrating the 15th anniversary of his debut album; as the Khalid Free Spirit World Tour arrives at Staples Center for two nights with special guest Clairo.

TASTY QUIP: “You future hoes need to bow down. Entrepreneur means I did that sh*t by myself.” – ISSA RAE while receiving the Women In Film inaugural Emerging Entrepreneur Award.

TC ON TV: June 21 – “The Bravest Knight” (Hulu): T.R. Knight, Storm Reid, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz and Bobby Moynihan lend their voices to this animated kids series based on the wildly popular children’s book by Daniel Errico. “Mr. Iglesias” (Netflix): Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias stars as a unique high school teacher in this sitcom with Sherri Shepherd and Richard Gant as regulars. “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO): The show reaches its 500th episode tonight. 

June 22 – “Big3 Basketball” (CBS): The Ice Cube-founded league returns for its third season on a new network with additions Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Gilbert Arenas, Al Jefferson and Lamar Odom joining veterans Amar’e Stoudemire, Nate Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Boozer, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen, Jermaine O’Neal, and many more. Basketball legends will also patrol the sidelines, with teams coached by notables like Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving, Gary Payton, Lisa Leslie, Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry and George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin.

June 23 – “Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter” (Sundance): “Comedy Actresses” speak including Tiffany Haddish, who recently cancelled an Atlanta show due to Georgia’s governor signing controversial anti-abortion legislation. “I read that bill and it looks like new slavery to me,” she told TMZ. “I don’t want nobody telling me how I could control my body.” “Highwire Live In Times Square With Nik Wallenda” (ABC): Michael Strahan will host The King of the Highwire and his sister Lijana, returning for the first time since her well-publicized 2017 tragic fall with four others during a rehearsal, as they attempt a death-defying walk 25 stories across the heart of New York City in this two-hour special. “2019 BET Awards” (BET): Regina Hall hosts with performers to include Cardi B, DJ Khaled, H.E.R. and Lil Nas X with special honors given to Mary J. Blige, Tyler Perry and the late Nipsey Hussle. “The Michael Jackson Story” (Reelz): Natalie Morales hosts this two-hour special looking at the life and career of the King of Pop and where his legacy now stands.

June 24 – “Live with Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Anthony Anderson, Timbaland, Melissa Etheridge, Dr. Taz Bhatia

June 25 – “Mike Epps: Only One Mike” (Netflix): In a raw stand-up comedy special, the funnyman mixes it up as he tackles sexual misconduct, special ed, aging body parts and much more.

June 26 – “Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality” (HBO): An intimate portrait of the Alabama public interest attorney, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

June 27 – “Watch What Happens Live” (Bravo): Chrissy Teigen joins host Andy Cohen to celebrate the late-night talk fest’s 10th anniversary in this primetime special. “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount): Serayah (“Empire”) vs. Rotimi (“Power”) ends the fifth season.

TASTY QUIP: “There’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self — and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself — you’ve got to recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you. And you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive and straight up just being good to people because that matters.” – DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON upon receiving the Generation Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.