Donny Hathaway

In Performance

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Though largely revered for his studio recordings, it was on-stage that Donny Hathaway truly became a giant diamond in a sea of gems. Much like his excellent 1972 Live recording and the stellar 2004 These Songs for You, Live!, In Performance features Hathaway taking his audience to church in a way that can only be described as unique, as he truly had an individual stage presence that few others could hope to rival. In Performance isn't necessarily better than those aforementioned excellent records, but it complements them extremely well, with gritty versions of "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" leading the charge. As usual, Hathaway's delivery is electric and as sincere as a soul artist could possibly get. In Performance's sole flaw is its length. When the audience applause from the finale, "Sack Full of Dreams," has faded, one is likely to find that the 40 minutes spent listening wasn't nearly enough -- a testament to how potent and powerful Hathaway was in his prime.

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