By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
The R&B act Tower of Power is quickly approaching its 50th anniversary. A half-century. Five decades. No matter how band cofounder Emilio Castillo looks at it, the milestone means “a lot of pressure.”
“Everybody’s asking me where the celebration is,” said Castillo, a Detroit-born Valley resident. “I’m doing a record right now. I have 28 songs. It’s a huge project. I’m trying to finish that.”
As if it’s not enough, the CD will be paired with a DVD documentary for the occasion.
“It’s a lot of work, but I’m blessed to have made it this far,” he contends. “It’s going to be great.”
The CD is an all-original collection, said Castillo, whose band plays Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler on Thursday, Dec. 15. Castillo received sage advice about the project.
“I ran into an old manager friend of mine,” he said. “He said, ‘You need to make the best record of your career. This isn’t the time to just throw together 12 songs.’
“He said to use the ‘Michael Jackson method’—record way more songs than you need and pick the best 12. That’s what I’ve done. We’ve recorded 28 songs.”
For the as-of-yet untitled album, Castillo is working with Joe Vannelli, the brother of ’70s rock star Gino Vannelli and a star producer in his own right.
“He’s so meticulous and creative,” Castillo said. “I explained to him what I was doing and I asked him if he was willing to help me finish it up. It proved to be a very wise decision.”
A self-professed homebody, the second tenor saxophonist and vocalist doesn’t see his career ending anytime soon.
“There’s no retirement in the Bible,” he said with a laugh.
IF YOU GO
What: Tower of Power
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15
Where: Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
Information: 800-946-4452, wingilariver.com