Tag Archives: Donny Hathaway

Christmas Soul Special (Blue Moon, 1982)

Christmas Soul Special

This album is hot garbage so here lemme rank the most non-horrible Xmas songs for you:

12. The Ramones, “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”

11. Yellow Man, “Santa Claus Never Comes To The Ghetto”

10. either Barrington Levy, “One Christmas Day” or Jacob Miller, “All I Want For Ismas” (undecided at press time)

9. Charles Brown, “Please Come Home for Christmas”

8. Marvin Gaye, “I Want to Come Home for Christmas” (saccharine as fuck but still like open-heart surgery because of Marvin’s voice & phrasing)

7. “Merry Christmas Baby” – the Bawse & the E Street Band, mostly because of the keys/drums/horns of the intro (Bittan/Weinberg/Clemons).

6. Bill Withers, “The Gift of Giving.”

5. Prince, “Another Lonely Christmas”

4. The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale of New York”

3. Donny Edward Hathaway, “This Christmas”

2. Darlene Love, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

1. Vince Guaraldi, “Linus and Lucy,” obviously

[Close, but nope: Run-DMC, “Christmas in Hollis” due to sheer annoying oversaturation (oddly, however, this does not impact the seeding of “Linus and Lucy”), Joni Mitchell’s “River” which is lovely but loses points for encouraging pouty Caucasian female wallowing, James Brown’s “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” (boring), and “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band, due to John Lennon’s hypocrital ass singing us a big ol' guilt-trip let’s-all-do-better song while pretending he's not a man who consistently physically assaulted the women in his life. HAVE A SEAT, LENNON.]

 

Freddie Hubbard, The Black Angel (Atlantic, 1970)

Hubbard Black Angel

I was going to parlay this post into a plea for Angels tickets – there are 15k of you following me on Instagram; surely ONE of you knows Moreno or Scioscia or Toriiiiiiii Hunter or some random Dominican scout who can provide the hookup-? Sadly, the team rolled over and played dead and now I’m focusing on trying to get Clippers tickets, which I just realized is the true purpose for which God created Instagram.

This cover has been a long time coming, and in doing a little research, I discovered that a 20-year-old Freddie was roommates with Eric Dolphy (!), making those dudes the Hutson-Hathaway, or perhaps the Love-Westbrook, of midcentury, hard bop NYC. The lazy sports journalists of the world will tell you that Westbrook “plays with a chip on his shoulder,” when really a more accurate description would be that he “’plays with a Tasmanian Devil pumping HGH and meth straight into his bloodstream while Stone Cold whispers angry motivational phrases in his ear’ on his shoulder.” I can relate to this, as when I bought 3 Blind Mice (Freddie in “Blue Moon” is gorgeous), a helpful gentleman at the store informed me that I had made a “good choice” and that “the bass player on here is a guy named Jymie Merritt.” First of all, yes, I KNOW it was a good choice, but thanks for your approval, and second, yes, I’m familiar with Mr. Merritt and how he got sick soon after this very fruitful recording period for Blakey’s band so he brought in Reggie Workman, and despite my estrogen and hips, sir, this little lady knows a ton of useless jazz history. I am unsure as to why I care so much about strangers knowing that I’m well aware of the timeline of Blakey’s bass personnel*, but you know how they say Russ plays with a chip on his shoulder? I DIG with a chip on mine.

 

*I’m petty and ridiculous