The Pulse of Entertainment - February 7, 2023

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The Pulse of Entertainment: ‘We 3 Keys' Album Released on Shanachie by Trio 3 Keys - Phil Davis, Bob Baldwin, Gail Jhonson

by Dr. Eunice Moseley


(February 7, 2023) - "It was fun," said Phil Davis, one of three keyboardists in the group 3 Keys that also consist of Bob Baldwin and Gail Jhonson, about their "We 3 Keys" (Shanachie Entertainment) album release. "From three keyboardists. We approach the songs differently."

All three keyboardists are Contemporary Smooth Jazz musicians that have made a major impact on the Contemporary Jazz industry. Gail (Janet Jackson, Sheila E) is a member of the all-female band Jazz In Pink. Bob Baldwin has releases at least 33 solo albums and has written and arranged for The Four Tops, Will Downing, and Groover Washington. Phil Davis has collaborated with Prince, Jennifer Holiday, Regina Bell, and Stanley Clarke. Phil is also an assistant professor in the music department at Clark Atlanta University. His credits also includes scoring or producing songs for CBS' "Star Search" and Turner South's "The Comedy Show."

"I had the opportunity to see Norman, Gail, and Phil. They were playing in 2021 and I went backstage," Bob Baldwin informed me when I asked how 3 Keys was formed. "We were admiring each other's work....and Gail said we should do a project."

As the old saying goes, "...and the rest is history."

When I asked if they formed the trio just for the "We 3 Keys" album or for long term, Bob said, "Well, I do enjoy working with Gail and Phil."

"Smooth Jazz is heavily populated with the sax, cause sax is closest to voice," Phil explained when talking about forming a trio of just keyboardists. "Keyboards are used to can record an entire record. Keyboards can imitate the sound of other instruments."

"We make sure the picture has the right paint brush for the song," added Bob about keyboardists.

When I asked if 3 Keys plan on touring to promote the 12 track "We 3 Keys" project Phil responded, "We'd love to!"

The current single is "That Beat" co-written by Gail and Bob. Gail also co-wrote the "SummerDance" track with Justin Davis who is on the single, she wrote "Rhythm Speak," and she co-wrote "Piano Bar" with bass player Andrew Ford, who is on that single. Phil wrote the tracks "Into the New" and "Dreaming About a Better Place." Bob also wrote the track "Gimme The Keys."

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