Kirk Whalum

Everything Is Everything: the Music of D. Hathaway (REN 5145)

Everything Is Everything: the Music of D. Hathaway View larger

Everything Is Everything: the Music of D. Hathaway

Kirk Whalum



MAC 123851

REN 5145



Everything Is Everything: the Music of D. Hathaway

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CD 10,70 €

1.Giving Up 5:15
2.Someday We'll All Be Free 6:03
3.We're Still Friends 5:12
4.Love, Love, Love 3:55
5.A Song for You 6:14
6.Valdez In the Country 3:59
7.Je Vous Aime I Love You 4:42
8.You Had To Know 5:11
9.Tryin' Times 7:31
10.We Need You Right Now 5:55
11.Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)5:38

Everything Is Everything: A Tribute To Donny Hathaway is Kirk Whalum's second album in 2010. In March, he released The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III, his first recording in two years, with a star-studded lineup. Everything Is Everything features 11 tunes closely associated with the late singer, songwriter and pianist. Hathaway recorded 10 of them himself; the other he wrote for Blood Stone. Whalum is joined by a stellar cast who include John Stoddart on Fender Rhodes, Shedrick Mitchell on organ, guitarists Jef Lee Johnson and Larry Campbell, bassist Christian McBride, percussionist Bashiri Johnson, and drummer John Roberts. (Guest appearances by Rick Braun, Jeff Golub, and Robert Randolph round it out.) This is a primarily instrumental set, recorded in a polished but old-school, 1970s funky soul jazz style -- nearly CTI in production approach with some fine vocal performances sweetening the deal. Musiq Soulchild lends his mellifluous tenor to the slow-burning "We're Still Freinds," and Hathaway's daughter Lalah graces the silky babymaker "You Had to Know." Whalum evokes his best Grover Washington, Jr. on the kick-off track "Giving Up," and the lyric influence of fellow Memphian David Fathead Newman is heard on "Someday We'll All Be Free," featuring a lovely, tastefully articulated string arrangement by Gil Goldstein. The recording of Leon Russell's "Song for You" is a real highlight here, as Whalum references Hathaway's vocal phrasing on his tenor. Goldstein's strings are up in the mix but aren't intrusive. "Valdez in the Country" digs deeper into Hathaway's original to bring the Latin polyrhythms to the fore, and Golub's guitar solo is a monster -- adding grit to the interplay between the rhythm section and percussionists. "Je Vous Aime (I Love You)," one of two cuts here written by Hathaway with Leroy Hutson, features a female gospel chorus. Randolph's pedal steel on "Tryin' Times" adds some nasty to this funky number. "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)" closes it with Stoddart taking an incidental lead vocal backed by a chorus, as Braun and Randolph round out the core band. Andy Snitzer's programming (this is the only cut it appears on) is minimal; making it suitable for the dancefloor and remixing. McBride's electric bass is the driving force, and the chorus is chilling in its emotional reach. Whether intended or not, Whalum's range of musicial creativity on Everything Is Everything: A Tribute to Donny Hathaway, while keeping it grounded in the singer's ouevre, makes this the album by which the saxophonist will be judged from here on out. - Thom Jurek, Rovi,
All Music Guide