Greg Phillinganes (born Gregory Arthur Phillinganes on May 12, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan) is a legendary active session keyboardist mostly based in Los Angeles, California.
Phillinganes was discovered by Stevie Wonder who heard a cassette of instrumental renditions of his own songs done by Phillinganes. Wonder recruited Phillinganes for his Wonderlove band, where Phillinganes stayed from 1976 to 1981.
In 1981, he released his first solo album, Significant Gains. While the album itself was not very successful, he did manage to score a minor R&B hit with "Baby, I Do Love You." Three years later, he released his follow-up album Pulse, which featured another minor hit (and perhaps his best-known solo hit), a cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra's song "Behind the Mask" (with additional lyrics written by Michael Jackson). This single was much more successful on the Dance music charts. When he later joined Eric Clapton's backing band, Phillinganes would introduce the tune to Clapton, who covered it on his 1986 August album. Amidst his solo recordings and touring with Clapton throughout the 1980s, he became well-known as a prominent session musician for a multitude of different artists, performing on many hit albums of the time such as Jacko's Thriller. His session work has continued into the present.
In addition to Stevie Wonder, Greg Phillinganes has worked and toured with other notable musicians such as the Bee Gees, Anita Baker, Eric Clapton, Donald Fagen, Aretha Franklin,Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney and Stevie Nicks among others, He was also the musical director for Michael Jackson's Bad & Dangerous concert tours.
During 2004, Phillinganes acted as a replacement for David Paich on tour with the band Toto. In 2005, he joined the band and set to helping Toto with their new album. He continued to tour as member of Toto until the band broke up in 2008.
Greg and Party Of The Century:
Greg first met Giorgio in Tokyo when he was given the IV TOTO single release. It's been a very nice meeting and from then on, the two kept in touch becoming nice friends.
Months later, Giorgio started to write few lines about the upcoming Party Of The Century project in on of the emails addressed to Greg. Giorgio talked about this crazy idea and all the guests that accepted to be part of it.
Needless to say Giorgio already saved a keyboards slot for his friend Greg, and he was just waiting for a confirmation that came right after Sir Phillinganes had hte chance to listen to the demo of the song Giorgio purposed him to play on.
The session was scheduled at Phantom recording studios, and the day before the recording Giorgio got a call from Simon Phillips saying: " Hey G, just got a call from Greg about tomorrow's session... Well, looks like he wants to play acoustic piano on that track, is it fine for you? If so I will immediately call the piano tuner to make our Steinway sound brilliant" !
Gee... Giorgio was shaking and happier than ever, wowwww acoustic piano!!!
Greg recorded his POTC feature by playing acoustic piano in one of the most moving tracks in the record, a song about war that feature Simon Phillips on drums:
- Write Me
Studio Sessions for POTC :
Wanna know more about Greg?