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Philip Bailey is back with 'Love Will Find a Way' / burning ambulance

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Philip Bailey is back with a new solo release, Love Will Find a Way, and while the material leans toward R&B and early '70s jazz, with one notable exception, the performers cross generations, including several names that are very much of the moment. The roster of guests includes Robert Glasper, Chick Corea and Kenny Barron on piano and keyboards; trumpeter Christian Scott; saxophonist Kamasi Washington; guitarist Lionel Loueke; bassists Christian McBride and Derrick Hodge; and drummers Steve Gadd and Kendrick Scott, as well as guest vocalists including Bilal and Casey Benjamin.

The songs Bailey has chosen for Love Will Find a Way are a surprising mix. There are two Curtis Mayfield compositions, "Billy Jack" from 1975's There's No Place Like America Today and the Impressions‘ 1967 single "We're a Winner," from the album of the same name; Marvin Gaye‘s "Just to Keep You Satisfied," from 1973's Let's Get It On; the title track comes from a 1978 Pharoah Sanders album produced by Norman Connors, and features Kamasi Washington on soprano sax, an instrument he rarely plays on record. "You're Everything" comes from the second Return to Forever album, 1973's Light as a Feather; "Long as You're Living" was written by Oscar Brown Jr., Julian Priester, and Tommy Turrentine, and was recorded by Abbey Lincoln on her 1959 album Abbey is Blue. The most unexpected track here, though, has to be a version of Talking Heads‘ "Once in a Lifetime," which Bailey and his cohorts turn into a drifting cloud, the lyrics delivered in a half-whisper rather than the barely controlled panic of the original. It's a strange treatment, but it…works?

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