Soul singer Lalah Hathaway is arguably one of the finest vocalists of the genre, having been a professional singer for over 25 years. Since beginning her career in the late 1980s, she has followed in the footsteps of her father Donny Hathaway, collaborating with a host of exceptional artists and releasing a stream of acclaimed solo albums. Her virtually unrivalled ability to sing multiple notes at once, as demonstrated in this performance with Snarky Puppy, makes her one of the most unique and talented vocalists around. In 2008, she signed to Stax Records, a label steeped in Soul history, that was once the home of Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and The Staple Singers.
An avid collaborator and session vocalist as well a solo artist, Lalah has appeared on, and has connections to some truly fine albums. Here’s our recommendations for 5 crucial, Lalah Hathaway related albums:
Lalah Hathaway joins jazz legends Wayne Shorter and Jack DeJohnette on this breezy neo-soul effort from Esperanza Spalding, providing wonderfully complementary vocals on the track ‘Endangered Species’.
On this years most hotly anticipated hip hop album, Hathaway provides backing vocals on the track ‘Complexion (A Zulu Love)’, and her 2008 track ‘On Your Own’ is sampled to form the basis for track ‘Momma’.
Producing her incredible solo harmonies on the track ‘Something’, Hathaway takes the already funky track to another level with her remarkable input.
Black Radio 2 (2013)
On the slower, jazzy number ‘Jesus Children’, Hathaway’s soulful melodies sit perfectly on the soft, panning Rhodes keyboards, and Glasper’s piano playing ambles beautifully in the background.
Her father’s magnum opus; featuring flortist Hubart Laws and Fred White of Earth, Wind & Fire on drums, the album explores everything from jazz and funk to soul and classical, culminating in a deeply spiritual and moving album, a must have for any soul collection.
Lalah Hathaway plays here 12th May. With support from DJ Giles Thorpe.