Donny Hathaway

Extension Of A Man

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Ranging from inner-city soul to orchestral grandeur to a bluesy ballad to easy-listening pleasantries, 'Extension Of A Man' was Donny Hathaway's most ambitious LP, the justly titled capstone to his phenomenal career. Coming, however, from one of soul music's most widely talented figures, this wasn't exactly a surprise; both of his previous studio full-lengths, 'Everything Is Everything' and 'Donny Hathaway', treated soul as merely a starting point to express his multitude of ideas concerning music and arrangement, song and performance. First up is six-minute orchestral piece "I Love the Lord; He Heard My Cry, Pts. 1-2." Arranged and orchestrated for 45 musicians by Hathaway himself, it applied the buoyant optimism of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" to a religious context, and segued smoothly into the transcendent "Someday We'll All Be Free," one of Hathaway's most beloved songs. Elsewhere we get chart hits "Love, Love, Love" and "Come Little Children".

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