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Intimate Friends

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Eddie Kendricks : Intimate Friends
taken from the album “Slick” on Tamla (1977)

Al Wilson : Somebody To Love
taken from the album “Weighing In” on Rocky Road (1973)

Donny Hathaway : I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
taken from the album “In Performance” on Atlantic (1980)

Nothing like two weeks without my lovely lady to bring out the sentimental, pillow-hugging, flower-purchasing, soft-serve-soul-music-appreciating parts of me. Living together for a full year now (whoa!) means that my whole daily rhythm is pretty much in sync with hers. When she’s gone, I feeeeel it. Which isn’t a bad thing really; just makes for a sweet homecoming and a reinvigorated stamina for spooning. I don’t want to get too mushy on you, but these newly aquired records are hitting the spot (or I guess it’s more like massaging the tender place) right now.

“Slick” by Kendricks doesn’t quite stand up to the impeccable mastery of People… Hold On, but it comes surprisingly close. Didn’t expect much from the cheesy airbrushed cover design, but it’s hard to resist that opening rhodes chord progression and arching falsetto on this sunny summer lovebird anthem.

Al Wilson follows up nicely with his bombastic midtempo proclamation of love power. This is the type of real world testifying that I would wake up on Sunday morning to go to church for- if it wasn’t church. Little bit of Bill Withers invocation on this one too.

No soundtrack to missing someone special would be complete without some Hathaway. This live performance from 1980 sounds like it could have been taken from the same session as one of my all-time favorite soul records. Donnie found his thing (rootsy, earthy, bluesy) and never strayed far. As always, the man’s voice reaches inward depths that seem as close to heavenly as humanly possible.