Wayne Wallace: Serpentine Fire


Serpentine Fire


Wayne Wallace (trombone, Wagner tuba)


The Nature of the Beat (Patois Records PRCD006)

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Wayne Wallace (trombone, Wagner tuba),

Claytoven Richardson, Orlando Torriente, Alexa Weber Morales (vocals), Louis Fasman (trumpet, flugelhorn), John Worley (trumpet, flugelhorn, post horn), Melico Magdaluyo (alto sax, flute), Ron Stallings (tenor, baritone saxes), Frank Martin (piano, synthesizer), Murray Low (piano), David Yamasaki (guitar), David Belove (bass), Paul Van Wageningen (drums), John Santos (congas, percussion), Michael Spiro (timbales, percussion)


Composed by Maurice White, Verdine White & Sonny Burke


Recorded: Berkeley, CA


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

I hate to admit it, but I totally missed the Earth, Wind & Fire boat back in the day. Long before I became a jazz snob, I was a definite rock snob. My circle of friends rocked! Why would anybody voluntarily listen to horns when electric guitar was all you needed? Earth, Wind & Fire? Sure, I had a few friends who owned their greatest hits record, but I secretly suspected that had something to do with their girlfriends a sort of musical/hormonal calculus. Well, everybody has to grow up sooner or later. My moment probably came with either my first Southside Johnny or Tower of Power record. In any event, this high-energy, Latin-ized version of "Serpentine Fire" is a real treat, reminding me of what fun it was to realize that not all songs had to sound like jackhammers gone medieval. Spiky horns, hip vocals, funky bass and guitar, and an insistent and driven piano give the piece huge inertia. There's something for both the rock and jazz snob here.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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