Donny Hathaway: Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)
Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)
Donny Hathaway (vocals, electric piano)
Live (Atlantic 780272)
Mike Howard (guitar), Fred White (drums), Earl DeRouen (percussion).
Composed by Richard Evans, Phillip Upchurch, and Ric Powell.
Recorded: New York, mid-1972
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Good luck in finding many R&B records that sound as fresh and as vital as Donny Hathaway's Live. From it, this epic tune is characteristic of the whole reason that Hathaway's music came to prominence in the first place. From the experienced band of funk sessioneers to the absolute spontaneity, the group's sincerity remains yet to be challenged.
While few elements could have been added to stretch this jam past its already-long 13:48 running time, each player is allowed to pitch in with an individual statement via a round of solos in which Hathaway goes first. While he rocks the groove to its foundations, the "second" and "third" movements (as he calls them) consist of two guitar solos-one from Mike Howard and the other by Cornell Dupree. Howard's solo is distinctive for its basic disjointedness, while Dupree's is an exercise in six-string proficience.
Of course, this track is known for Willie Weeks' bass solo, which has inspired instrumentalists of all levels. Awesomely received by the enthusiastic Bitter End audience, it was also lifted a year later by Gerald Johnson for his own solo on Steve Miller's "Sha Ba Du Ma Ma Ma." Who knows why Johnson was unable to compose one, given his own talent, but what is assured is that he was obviously listening to (and learning from) this recording before cutting Miller's breakthrough album The Joker, which appeared on record shelves only a few months afterward.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary