On December 18, 2011, Ralph Anthony MacDonald died aged 67. He was musician (percussion, steelpan), songwriter, arranger, record producer, and philanthropist. His best known compositions are “Where Is the Love”, a “Grammy Award” winner for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway duet), “Just the Two of Us” (recorded by Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr.), and “Mister Magic” (recorded by Grover Washington Jr.). MacDonald was member of the bands Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Steelband Panorama, and Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. He recorded with many famous musicians including David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, Bob James, Ashford and Simpson, and The Brothers Johnson. As a leader MacDonald released ten albums.
On June 12, 2001, “Ropeadope Records” label released the self-titled, debut The Philadelphia Experiment album. It was recorded September 25-27, 2000, and was produced by Aaron Levinson and Andy Blackman Hurwitz.
- Uri Caine– electric piano, acoustic piano, organ
- Christian McBride– acoustic and electric bass
- Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson– drums
- Pat Martino– electric guitar
- John Swana– trumpet
- Larry Gold – cello, arrangement
- Philadelphia Experiment – Uri Caine
- Grover – Uri Caine
- Lesson #4 – Uri Caine, Christian McBride, Ahmir Thompson
- Call for All Demos – Sun Ra
- Trouble Man Theme – Marvin Gaye
- Ain’t It the Truth – Uri Caine, Christian McBride, Ahmir Thompson
- IIe Ife – Sherman Ferguson
- The Miles Hit – Uri Caine, Christian McBride, Ahmir Thompson
- (Re) Moved – Uri Caine, Christian McBride, Ahmir Thompson
- Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John, Bernie Taupin
- Mister Magic – Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
On December 17, 1999, Grover Washington, Jr. died aged 56. Being saxophonist, composer and arranger, he is considered to be one of the founders of the smooth jazz genre. Some of his most popular works feature his own compositions and covers of “Mister Magic”, “Take Five”, “Soulful Strut”, “Reed Seed”, “Black Frost”, “Winelight”, “Inner City Blues” and “The Best is Yet to Come”. In his career he has performed and recorded with many famous musicians, including Kathleen Battle, Kenny Burrell, Hank Crawford, Charles Earland, Dexter Gordon, Urbie Green, Eddie Henderson, Masaru Imada, Boogaloo Joe Jones, Idris Muhammad, Gerry Mulligan, Don Sebesky, Johnny “Hammond” Smith, Melvin Sparks, Leon Spencer, Mal Waldron, Randy Weston, Bill Withers and Patti LaBelle.