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Last night I read a few chapters of a book called The Greatest Salesman In The World. I re-read it from time to time whenever I'm feeling disconnected. It's the book Maurice White made his associates read before they worked with him. I know this because Allee Willis, who co-wrote "September" and "Boogie Wonderland," told me. She also explained that Maurice was a singular songwriting talent who knew exactly how to fuse spirituality and groove. You can hear it in "Shining Star," a song meant to lure us into a positive state. It's also in "September" - yeah, it's a lot of "bada ya," but you can't let a lyric get in the way of a groove, and that groove means more than anything you'll find in the dictionary. In a way, EW&F ruined me for modern R&B. I would hear the latest jams and think, "Why would I listen to this when Earth, Wind & Fire did it so much better"? Well, that's because what they did was beyond compare - interplanetary, almost. Wherever he is, his star is shining bright.