What I'm listening to this week.
I picked up this old favorite a couple of weeks ago at Tower Records. Inexpensive at $12.00, this CD includes the original vinyl album artwork but is missing the liner notes.
I'll bet it's been 20 years since I've heard these recordings by the great singer/keyboardist/songwriter Donny Hathaway and a terrific band that included guitarist Cornell Dupree and ace bassist Willie Weeks, plus another guitarist, conga and trap drums, and Hathaway on acoustic and Wurlitzer electric piano. The album was recorded before very enthusiastic fans at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and the Bitter End in New York, and was released in 1972.
These recordings are great fun and Hathaway, the band, and the fans are all having a ball! The first tune is a fine version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," followed by Hathaway's "The Ghetto" which features smoking piano and percussion solos. The crowd helps out with the vocals on Carole King's "You've Got A Friend" by singing the choruses for the band leader. There's even a cool version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" here where the band helps out with some vocal harmonies on the chorus. The final tune, "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)," is a 14-minute jam that features the famous 3+ minute-long solo by electric bass maestro Willie Weeks.
This is a terrific record by one of the premier soul artist of the time, and I recommend it highly. Play it loud!