The First Lady of Soul takes us to Where It All Begins on October 18th, 2011 from the Stax/Concord Jazz Label.
Ever since the release of her self-titled debut album on Virgin records, Lalah Hathaway has been a strong consistent force, churning out her heart and soul in songs with notable collaborations, working with the greats within the jazz and R&B sectors of the industry. She’s not the best-kept secret but a secret kept best with wide demographics of listeners globally. She’s very much in demand and considered one of R&B’s most prized artists.
One can say that she took the journey finding her tone, musical path, re-inventing her self, culminating her prior release “Self Portrait,” finally stepping out of the shadowed reputation of being the daughter of the great Donny Hathaway, no pun intended.
Earning a stand-alone status in relation to having a family member who shines/shone brightly is certainly a rewarding experience; it means the path of that individual has been found.
“Everybody is an artist in some way,” Hathaway enthuses, “I wanted to explore what that really means. For me it meant walking into being the artist I’ve always wanted to be. It was an opportunity for me to embrace my independence as an artist through my music and connection to my fans.” Lalah Hathaway
As the circle of life continues to influence its theory, almost like a prodigal path, Lalah revisits the beginnings, paying homage to her father, but not behind her father’s shadow as before but in front. How fitting of a journey, which proves to be inspirational. This can be seen in the artwork of the album’s cover with the use of various classic album covers from her father. There’re other interesting concepts in the album cover, which tells a meaningful story.
Hathaway recruited esteemed kindred spirits to either co-write or contribute tailor-made tunes. The list includes Lewis Williams, Lee Hutson, Jr., Errol Cooney, James Day, James Fauntleroy, Rahsaan Patterson, Terrence Lilly, Jonathan Richmond, Mike City, Dave Young, Bryan Sledge, Eddie Serrano, Rich King, Andre Harris and Vidal Davis. Recruiting such top-tier songwriters – some, who’ve penned hits for Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Bilal, Babyface, Musiq Soulchild, and host of others, demonstrating Hathaway’s long-held status in contemporary R&B.
“I went on Twitter and Facebook and said, ‘I’m looking to collaborate with writers and get songs from people,’” explaining how she chose her collaborators. “I really wanted to open myself up to the people. I don’t have a bias of who gets to work with me. I really love a great song and a great lyric.” Lalah Hathaway
Hard-core fans will certainly be delighted with the newly arranged and recorded “I’m Coming Back,” a Quiet-Storm jewel, written by Gary Taylor, which appeared on her 1990 eponymous debut. It’s a song that’s remained a highlight of her live shows for two decades.
“No matter, where I go – churches, festivals, Japan, South Africa – people love that song,” Hathaway says, “This version has a different arrangement, because it’s morphed over the years. I decided to rerecord it. We added vocalist Rachelle Ferrell at the end, which is really sublime.”
Interesting enough, Hathaway’s sensational rendition of “I’m Coming Back” is so definitive that many people don’t realize that it was a cover when she first recorded it for her debut LP. Powerhouse R&B singer, Vesta Williams, originally recorded the song.
“Part of my career has been built on honoring those who came before me, retelling those stories, and really trying to create new standards out of those songs,” Hathaway says.
When it comes to honoring her predecessors, perhaps there’s no other greater example on Where It All Begins than with her spellbinding take on “You Were Meant For Me,” a chestnut that her late father – the incomparable Donny Hathaway recorded.
On Where It All Begins, Lalah Hathaway unquestionably succeeds at opening herself up in new and profound ways, striving for artistic higher ground and ‘creating something beautiful.’
“I feel like I’m at the top of my game, like I’m at the beginning again,” she says, excitedly. “There aren’t many artists, particularly female singers, who after 20 years, are kind of still on the come up. I feel like I’m on the come up.”
Listen to the first single “If You Want To.”
For More information visit: Lalah Hathaway Website…