Bilal is a dude that been on the scene so long he’s earned his cred between traditional R&B, assists for Common and Talib Kweli, then there’s his classical music training. In this live remake he seems to be taking it back to the free-form expression we associate with jazz. He forgoes his high pitched raspy wail that we’ve come to see on his later work. The band plays around him as his voice trails into a seriously deep territory. We get the best of Bilal’s tones high and low inspired by the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble of Suite for Ma Dukes fame. They have an ability to capture all the aspects of everything they perform whether it be Dilla beats or vintage soul music. Watch how the audience of peeps who were probably not around to experience Donny’s day, sway (and de-robe? 1:05) to the music. That’s what a cover is about: taking something old and giving a modern translation of the same feel but some times you just have to find that old soul within yourself.
Between the Sheets: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble f. Bilal, “Someday We’ll All Be Free” (Donny Hathaway Cover)
Artists respecting each other’s work is an on-going cycle of real recognize real. Catch weekly posts of new wrinkles added to original masterpieces. Today, Bilal covers “Someday We’ll All Be Free” by Donny Hathaway.