Before the first time UF jazz professor Scott Wilson visited the home of Earth, Wind and Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn, he had never seen a Grammy Award.
At Dunn's house, nine of them sit atop a piano.
"It's very humbling," Wilson said.
Wilson, as part of The Sheldon Reynolds Project, released "Feel Good," an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute album, July 4.
The 12-track album is composed of 11 jazzed-up versions of the band's hits, along with a brand-new title track, "Feel Good," which was co-written by the band's original singer, Maurice White.
Earth, Wind and Fire alumni White, Dunn, Sheldon Reynolds and Morris Pleasure played on the record along with Wilson and other recording artists.
To achieve a new sound, Wilson laid a jazz style over the band's old familiar songs, adding a gospel choir to some tracks.
Still, he said, the album retains a heavy commercial appeal.
"I was trying to cross over that bridge of straight funk and add some more jazz artistic-ness to it," he said.
Last summer, Wilson's friend and colleague, Stuart Sternberg, invited him to play for an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute concert in Los Angeles.
Wilson and Sternberg had already been managing the solo project of Sheldon Reynolds, who played guitar in Earth, Wind and Fire for 14 years.
Soon after, Reynolds asked Wilson and Sternberg to produce a tribute album for the band.
Wilson wanted to get away from the packaged-sounding backing tracks he said are often used by Earth, Wind and Fire alumni who still tour.
"Nowadays, everything has been squashed down for economic reasons, and the sound of the band is being lost," Wilson said. "That's why the members got together to build a tribute band that was truly a tribute."
Wilson picked the songs, added solos, got songs radio-ready and even played on a few tracks with electronic valve instruments. Sternberg gathered funds and support and attracted other musicians to the project.
Wilson and Sternberg worked closely with Grooveshark, a digital music platform, and hired the company to create the record's album cover.
Production of the record took about six months, Wilson said. Most of the recording was done in Los Angeles, but some work was done in Gainesville.
More than anything else during the project, Wilson said, he learned how to create a great record.
Though Sternberg wasn't on the record musically, he said the project is his and Wilson's baby.
"I was very proud to be involved in this project," Sternberg said. "Since I'm a fan of R&B, it was even more of a pleasure."
Charles Stone, a 45-year veteran of the music business and manager for Kool and the Gang, is a close friend of Sternberg's and an advocate of the project.
"I think it's a very unique project," Stone said. "It shows a lot of melodic rhythms, a lot of professionalism. I think they really show remarkable musicianship."
UF jazz professor Scott Wilson poses as he plays the piano inside the Steinbrenner Band Building Sunday afternoon. Wilson released an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute album on Grooveshark.