CD reissue. As fine as their four previous studio albums had been, Earth Wind & Fire were clearly on fire as a live act, as evidenced on Gratitude. Recorded during the first rush of mega-stardom the live portion of the album catches them playing raw but tight, stretching out the solos and arrangements and adding in several delightful new songs ("Sun Goddess", "New World Symphony") of a progressive nature. The genius mind and vision of Maurice White may lead this musical ensemble, but he never acts as if it belongs to him only. The live versions of "Yearnin' Learnin'", "Devotion" and "Sun Goddess" (which they wrote and was recorded by jazz legend Ramsey Lewis) are funky and jazzy. The standout live track is "Reasons" where Phillip Bailey treats us to a vocal tour-de-force.