Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire

ewf-@The band Chicago’s comfy and privileged niche in the “lite rock” bin must really offend the band’s early fans, the ones who were there when the Chicago Transit Authority was arguably the first rock band to treat a horn section as meat, not gravy, on their nervy, progressive and rocking early records. Before you go blaming Peter Cetera for the band’s wimpification, please acknowledge that Cetera was the nimble bassist on all the good early stuff too, when keyboardist Robert Lamm, Trombonist James Pankow and the late guitarist Terry Kath were the principal songwriters.

Also coming out of Chicago at the turn of the ‘70s was drummer Maurice White’s legendry project Earth, Wind, and Fire, a funky outfit  that blended soul, rock, jazz and pop in a very different way.  After an excellent debut in 1971, EWF really hit their stride as innovators and as hit makes on a run of mid-‘70s records that are the still the holy grail of sophisticated funky pop, starting with 1975’s That’s the Way of the World from which comes “Shining Star.”

City mates and co-innovators of modern horn pop, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire unite for a “blow out” on the Heart and Soul tour, which arrives at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Sept 1 at 7:30. Tickets  $69, $99, $109, $129 Reserved; $37.50 Lawn, and are available at The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is located at 200 Hurd Road in Bethel.