Sunday, 3 June 2018

Donny Hathaway “Live” 1972 US Soul Jazz Classic (50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time Rolling Stone)


Donny Hathaway “Live” 1972 US Soul Jazz Classic (50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time Rolling Stone) highly recommended…! 

Donny Hathaway “The Ghetto” (live) on vimeo

https://vimeo.com/7809986

full spotify

https://open.spotify.com/album/0csi6eQolki4PIS60tBCW5


Recorded in two intimate clubs better known for their showcasing of folk and rock, The Troubadour in LA and The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, this live album enhanced Donny Hathaway’s reputation. It frequented the US charts in tandem with the album he’d cut with Roberta Flack and established him as one of the greatest writers and performers of his generation. 

There is nothing perfunctory about this live set. Supporting Hathaway’s vocals and electric piano are guitarists Phil Upchurch, Cornell Dupree and Mike Howard. Behind them is a watertight rhythm section with Willie Weeks on bass, Fred White on drums and Eric DeRouen on congas. Between them, they electrify material from Hathaway’s first two albums as well as You’ve Got a Friend from the album with Flack. Carole King’s song becomes like a hymn, with the audience singing the chorus. Recorded live solely for this album was Hathaway’s version of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy, performed with barrelhouse piano and a swaggering groove. 

It is the jams, however, when the album really ignites. The band goes deeper into the heart of the song, resulting in a trance-like groove. This is especially true of Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything). The three-minute studio cut is extended to a nearly 14-minute jam, increasing in intensity as the minutes pass. It’s almost as if Mogwai played funk. Weeks’ bass acrobatics are quite breathtaking, and you can hear the excitement of the audience and fellow performers as his playing gets more audacious. Hathaway’s signature song, The Ghetto, receives similar treatment: his electric piano soloing is followed by DeRouen’s intense conga breakdown, which has the effect of transcending the club and relocating the song back to Africa. It sounds free, untamed; full of wild abandon. 

Live also demonstrates is quite how wonderful Hathaway’s voice is in concert, showing how his sometimes ornate studio work could translate perfectly to the stage. Live has been cited as something of a blueprint for many subsequent acts, and it is with little wonder. Like Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace and Bill Withers’ Live at Carnegie Hall, it really does capture the spontaneity and joy of the moment. It is still so sad that Hathaway, a performer so full of life and hope, would die so tragically just seven years after this record’s release….by…Daryl Easlea ….BBC review….~


Donny Hathaway’s 1972 Live album is one of the most glorious of his career, an uncomplicated, energetic set with a heavy focus on audience response as well as the potent jazz chops of his group. The results of shows recorded at the Troubadour in Hollywood and the Bitter End in New York, the record begins with Hathaway’s version of the instant soul classic “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye’s original not even a year old when Hathaway recorded this version. His own classic “The Ghetto” follows in short order, but stretches out past ten minutes with revelatory solos from Hathaway on electric piano. “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)” is another epic (14-minute) jam, with plenty of room for solos and some of the most sizzling bass work ever heard on record by Willie Weeks. Any new Donny Hathaway record worth its salt also has to include a radical cover, and Live obliges nicely with his deft, loping version of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” The audience is as much a participant as the band here, immediately taking over with staccato handclaps to introduce “The Ghetto” and basically taking over the chorus on “You’ve Got a Friend.” They also contribute some of the most frenzied screaming heard in response to any Chicago soul singer of the time (excepting only Jackie Wilson and Gene Chandler, of course). Hardly the obligatory live workout of most early-‘70s concert LPs, Live solidified Hathaway’s importance at the forefront of soul music….by John Bush…~


Backed by a combo that included Chicago session vets such as guitarist Philip Upchurch, bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Fred White (who later joined Earth, Wind & Fire), Donny Hathaway swings with vividness on this brilliant live set and the audience responds ecstatically. When he runs through a 12-minute version of “The Ghetto,” playing the Rhodes electric piano with intensity, his fans soul-clap in time; a woman screams delightedly when he gives a gospel lilt to Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Meanwhile, “Little Ghetto Boy,” which was released the following year as a classic single from the Quincy Jones soundtrack collaboration Come Back, Charleston Blue, earns a life-affirming preview. Live cracked the Top 20 and became Hathaway’s first gold album, but the noted perfectionist was typically self-critical. “I’m naturally happy with the sales but the album itself isn’t as good as I would have liked it,” he told Blues & Soul magazine. “I’ve got to polish myself up for the next one.” Sadly, he never got that chance: The album closes with a 13-minute rendition of “Voices Inside (Everything is Everything),” a song that inadvertently predicted his struggles with schizophrenia, and his eventual suicide in 1979 at the age of 33. Mosi Reeves….Rolling Stone….~


Donny Hathaway covered more ground in a few years than hundreds of lesser artists do in a lifetime of recording and performing. On this live set, he is in full control of Everything- that incomparable voice heavy like honey, the funkiest keyboard work this side of Les McCann, a seriously righteous band, including bassist Willie Weeks, the material -even the audience! “The Ghetto” is the pinnacle of this album recorded at two different nightclubs, one in New York and one in LA - Donny comes fully alive as he transforms the audience into his back-up singers, making church, and leaving us the better for it. This is Donny’s finest recorded effort. “Extension of a Man”, while it contains the classic “Someday We’ll All Be Free”, finds him somewhat remote, no doubt a result of the increasingly virulent heroin habit that finally contributed to the despair culminating in his suicide; here he is an extraordinary Minister of Funk, and he’s live, obviously the best way to experience his art. I saw him perform on three separate occasions, and it was easy to tell that he loved performing live - the performances were unforgettable. Donny Hathaway’s huge musical and spiritual influence still runs like a river through music being made today- I hear the echo of his presence in artists as diverse as the brilliant Me'Shell Ndegeocello and the re-vitalised Santana. True funk will never die; this remarkable album will always keep the faith….by….LuelCanyon….~


This is one of the all-time classics of soul jazz. Originally released on the Atlantic label in 1972, it is a live performance of an absolutely amazing band playing their hearts out to a very appreciative and vocal audience in what looks like a club setting. I would love to have been there. The band is Donny Hathaway on vocals and piano, Mike Howard on rhythm and lead guitar, Cornell Dupree on the other lead guitar, Willie Weeks on the bass, and a conga player named Earl DeRouen and Fred White on drums (much respect to a couple of the commentors who gave me Earl and Fred’s names). The work of all the musicians on this project deserved to be remembered. 
Donny’s vocal style is classic with changes in intonation and timbre as richly textured as Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles. He tells you part of the story of the lyrics by how he sings a phrase. This guy seems a natural wonder but his skill was probably the result of a lot of work. One of the other reviewers compares his piano playing to Les McCann: maybe a little less harmonically advanced yet technically as good and perhaps even more soulful. 
Cornel Dupree was one of the great sidemen of the period and later starred in Stuff which he co-led with Eric Gale. He shines on this album with solos on We’re Still Friends and Voices Inside (Everything is Everything). He has a classic Fender tone- sharp, piercing and bluesy. You can hear Albert Collins in his playing and the whole history of Texas guitar. You will notice that other reviewers mention how much Stevie Ray loved this album and band. Cornell is part of the reason why. 
Willie Weeks the base player is solid thoroughout. He is outstandingly funky on Voices Inside (Everything is Everything). 
Listen to the album sometime just focusing on his bass for a great lesson in the art of the groove. Heck, listen to this album sometime focusing on any of these guys for a lesson in how to play that instrument beautifully within a group context. Each of these guys knows how to make the others sound even better and they all blend into a beautiful overall group sound. 
And then there is the audience. When Donny sings You’ve Got A Friend the audience takes up the chorus without even being asked and keeps it up throughout. Donny goes with it and basically sings around and with the audience. Very very cool. Very professional. 
I have owned several thousands CDs, tapes or albums in my time. There are probably less than a hundred that I think of as being iconic, unique, and near perfect. That I would change in no way whatsoever. This is one of the few. This is a sweet and honest presentation of one man’s (very large) musical soul being expressed with the help of a band of professionals whose musical skill is the effort of a lifetime in front of an audience who is very hip to what they are hearing. A stone cold soul classic….by Greg Taylor….~


In January of 1979, the great soul artist Donny Hathaway fell fifteen stories from a window of Manhattan’s Essex House Hotel in an alleged suicide. He was 34 years old and everyone he worked with called him a genius. Best known for A Song for You, This Christmas, and the absolutely classic duets with Roberta Flack, Hathaway was a composer, pianist, and singer committed to exploring music in its totality. His vibrant sincerity set him apart from other soul men of his era while influencing generations of singers and fans whose love affair with him continues to this day. His classic Album, Donny Hathaway Live testifies to his uncanny ability to amplify the power and beauty of his songs in the moment of live performance. By exploring this album, we see how he generated a spiritual experience for those present at his shows, and for those with the privilege to listen in now. Released Today Is A Book By Emily Lordi Of The Same Name. Emily Lordi* has written the first non-fiction book about Hathaway. It’s the latest installment in Bloomsbury’s 33 ⅓ series, released today. She uses original interviews, archival material, musical analysis, cultural history, and poetry to tell the story of Hathaway’s life, from his beginnings as a gospel wonder child to his final years. But its focus is the brutally honest, daringly gorgeous music he created as he raced the clock of mental illness especially in the performances captured on his 1972 album Donny Hathaway Live. Emily is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature (Rutgers UP, 2013). Her music reviews appear on New Black Man, The Feminist Wire, The New Inquiry, and The Root. In addition to her 33⅓ book on Donny Hathaway, she is writing a book on the musical and literary aesthetics of “soul. emily j lordi “I wanted to write about Donny Hathaway because he is one of the most phenomenal yet criminally underrated musicians of the 20th century. (There are no other nonfiction books about him, although there are two collections of poetry.) Despite decades of critical neglect, a deep and intergenerational connection to his music persists, especially among black listeners. This isn’t surprising, given that his gorgeous body of work is like the slogan ‘Black is Beautiful’ in musical form.” Emily Lordi We urge you to recollect this album and also buy the book. Pure genius…Mi Soul…..~


Donny Hathaway was one of the brightest new voices in soul music at the dawn of the '70s, possessed of a smooth, gospel-inflected romantic croon that was also at home on fiery protest material. Hathaway achieved his greatest commercial success as Roberta Flack’s duet partner of choice, but sadly he’s equally remembered for the tragic circumstances of his death – an apparent suicide at age 33. Hathaway was born October 1, 1945, in Chicago, but moved to St. Louis when he was very young, and began singing in church with his grandmother at the scant age of three. He began playing piano at a young age, and by high school, he was impressive enough to win a full-ride fine arts scholarship to Howard University to study music in 1964. While in college, he performed with a cocktail jazz outfit called the Ric Powell Trio, and wound up leaving school after three years to pursue job opportunities he was already being offered in the record industry. 

Hathaway first worked behind the scenes as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and session pianist/keyboardist. He supported the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, and the Staple Singers, among many others, and joined the Mayfield Singers, a studio backing group that supported Curtis Mayfield’s Impressions. Hathaway soon became a house producer at Mayfield’s Curtom label, and in 1969 cut his first single, a duet with June Conquest called “I Thank You Baby.” From there he signed with Atco as a solo artist, and released his debut single, the inner-city lament “The Ghetto, Pt. 1,” toward the end of the year. While it failed to reach the Top 20 on the R&B charts, “The Ghetto” still ranks as a classic soul message track, and has been sampled by numerous hip-hop artists. “The Ghetto” set the stage for Hathaway’s acclaimed debut LP, Everything Is Everything, which was released in early 1970. In 1971, he released his eponymous second album and recorded a duet with former Howard classmate Roberta Flack, covering Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” It was a significant hit, reaching the Top Ten on the R&B charts, and sparked a full album of duets, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, which was released in 1972. The soft, romantic ballad “Where Is the Love?” topped the R&B charts, went Top Five on the pop side, and won a Grammy, and the accompanying album went gold. 

Also in 1972, Hathaway branched out into soundtrack work, recording the theme song for the TV series Maude and scoring the film Come Back Charleston Blue. However, in the midst of his blossoming success, he was also battling severe bouts of depression, which occasionally required him to be hospitalized. His mood swings also affected his partnership with Flack, which began to crumble in 1973. Hathaway released one more album that year, the ambitious Extension of a Man, and then retreated from the spotlight; over the next few years, he performed only in small clubs. In 1977, Hathaway patched things up with Flack and temporarily left the hospital to record another duet, “The Closer I Get to You,” for her Blue Lights in the Basement album. The song was a smash, becoming the pair’s second R&B number one in 1978, and also climbing to number two on the pop charts. Sessions for a second album of duets were underway when, on January 13, 1979, Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk below the 15th-floor window of his room in New York’s Essex House. The glass had been neatly removed from the window, and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule Hathaway’s death a suicide; his friends were mystified, considering that his career had just started to pick up again, and Flack was devastated. Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway was released in 1980, and both of the completed duets – “Back Together Again” and “You Are My Heaven” – became posthumous hits. In 1990, Hathaway’s daughter Lalah launched a solo career. ~ Steve Huey….~


Charting the importance of Donny Hathaway to comprehend a soul (and post-soul) aesthetic is perhaps an inestimable endeavor. When coupling this with the fact that almost 38 years after his death, there had been no singular nonfiction monograph that outlined his life and songbook, one acknowledges that such silence likely signifies that there were precisely no words. That is until Emily J. Lordi chronicles the politics of his performativity in Donny Hathaway Live 
This text—itself miniaturized, hence its inclusion in the 33⅓ series—calculates a kind of mathematics that the previous paragraph already begins to deduce: can an author capture in a bound spine, even fractionally, the sum of an artistic life that concludes with what may have been an accidental, or purposive, flight (97-112)? Is there a pivotal difference between the individual and the collective? How does a genius cultivate an atmospheric product while simultaneously plunging the interiority of his “black melancholy” à la Treva Lindsey (39)? And what is the love quotient that so pervades the ear that listeners feel compelled to conjure a pianistic paragon from a self-professed pear (26)? The fruitfulness of this book is that one never hungers. 
There is an odd form of anxiety in attempting to explain what the book accomplishes because training, both as a musician and scholar, suggests that formalism is the proper foundation for discursive gymnastics. I venture to surmise that Lordi wrestles with this dis-ease as well when she states in a rather parabolic manner, “The conventional way to tell Hathaway’s story is not to dwell on this somber truth [the “painful irony … that the stunning vitality” the Live album “captures would be so short-lived”] but to move past it and end on a positive note … But I want to linger in the matter of endings. Doing so is instructive with Hathaway, because he was a master of them” (5). 
Allow me to make a tumbling pass: Musiq Soulchild has a lyric where he vocalizes: “But now that you’re gone/The story begins/It’s the ending of the end/Of an endless end/”. As one of Donny’s artistic beneficiaries, interpolating giving up in the cause of you and me, he further ponders in the chorus that if you can’t have the one you love, then whereareyougoing in your life? By internalizing this musiqal provocation, I arrive, which is to say dismount, at the notion that by beginning with endings, Lordi provides us with directions for encountering comfort in the fulfillment of the unresolved (119). 
As much a prodigy as a prophet, Hathaway telling his grandmother at the ripe age of four that he could hear the most beautiful music in his head (16) stunningly foreshadows Stevie Wonder’s 1972 project Music of My Mind. That Wonder’s subsequent album, Talking Book (1972), is indebted to Hathaway (112)—in part because he does a live cover at UCLA of “Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)”, one of two singles from the mind music album (89)—testifies to how Donny changed the game through sheer homage, wading in the great black pool of genius. At the same time, such an (in)formal education further cultivates itself at Howard University and after, more specifically in tandem with his comrade Roberta Flack (23; 40-7). What kind of unresolved fulfillment do we witness when music majors steal away to get their groove back under the “watchful eye” of administrators? (23) 
The music department as a crossroads for preparing the world for soundscapes that soundtracked our lives is nothing short of serendipity; we resound en masse: Thank You Master (For Their Soul) (There). Donny understood the complexity of formalism even as it took on a utility for his own productivity. When he imparts to Victor Rice that American music is BLACK and that European masters lack the SOUL that only black musicians can give (31), his stance suggests that insofar as everything is everything, one could simply replace such a ubiquitous category with the word BLACK, on either side of the verb, and never miss a beat. Being able to recount these moments of black genius not only solidifies Hathaway as an archival artist, but also conceives Lordi as an archivist in her own right. 
She is immensely meticulous at engendering compassion while filling the rests and stops of the cantata that is Hathaway’s life. The reader gains an exemplar for how to be a fan critically. Likewise, she outlines the stakes of Hathaway’s ethics and how they still hold sway today. This is made clear when she deploys the idea of “getting together” (3), a politics of assemblage or Fred Moten’s construction of the ensemble. What Lordi does, whether one perceives it as subtle or overt, is lay bare the necessary ease of citation. In her estimation, Donny always understood he was in conversation, in partnership, with others, and not the passive receptor of brilliance to then actively engage in improper naming (or none at all). She deftly conveys this affect when speaking about Hathaway’s mental health. 
The communal enactment of I-we as a mode of honorific is commonplace. Lordi’s search for the first-person singular concretizes the reality the some willingly give up their subjectivity as a metonymic gesture; the transformation from the one to a part of the whole is an object formation which proves that people who choose such a social position can and do resist. This is what Lordi means when she concedes, “Hathaway’s greatest success came through his recreation of other artists’ music [such that it] might reflect this broader history of interdependence … submerging the ‘I’ and the ‘we” that was always his implicit theme” (103). Donny’s work ethic surfaces when he makes the calculation that though “he wanted credit and compensation for his work,” he also wanted “to ensure that other artists received theirs” (110). Lordi’s constant signposting of him promoting the genius of his fellow musicians throughout the text (60; 70-1; 111), often at the cost of his own livelihood, situates the blackness of his music and his politics. 
Getting together, as in self-actualizing, is a precursor to gathering oneself in order to be a participant in a get-together. Blackness in the pocket. In a real sense, then, the Night that happens during the recording session when Hathaway charges white people with stealing his music and sound (109) contrives him as kindred with Moishe the Beadle. And as Lordi further opines: what one diagnoses as “sickness” culturally predates the ill and, in this contemporary moment, has yet to be quarantined (110). But wherearewegoing in our life together? 
If Lalah Hathaway teaches us anything as the text draws to a close, it might be to locate ourselves at the park for enacting the extraordinary (115). Lordi may be steering us toward something like the experience of a live show to give life to the performer and get our lives from him/her simultaneously. But if we can’t have Donny, the one we love, in the flesh, I believe he offers us two options: a world that gives us permission to get ourselves in gear, keep our stride, in order to sing his greatest songs and keep going, going on; or to meet him in a dream…..By I. Augustus Durham…..~ 



Credits 
Backing Vocals – Cornell Dupree (tracks: B1, B3), Earl DeRouen (tracks: B1, B3), Fred White (tracks: B1, B3), Mike Howard (2) (tracks: B1, B3), Willie Weeks (tracks: B1, B3) 
Bass – Willie Weeks 
Congas – Earl DeRouen 
Drums – Fred White 
Guitar – Mike Howard (2) 
Lead Guitar – Cornell Dupree (tracks: B1 to B4), Phil Upchurch (tracks: A1 to A4) 
Vocals, Electric Piano, Piano, Organ, Arranged By – Donny Hathaway



Tracklist 
What’s Goin’ On 5:17 
The Ghetto 12:18 
Hey Girl 4:02 
You’ve Got A Friend 4:33 
Little Ghetto Boy 4:32 
We’re Still Friends 5:15 
Jealous Guy 3:09 
Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything) 13:40 

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