Black Moses meets his people at commercial and creative peak
Recorded live at LA Memorial Coliseum in August 1972 on his 30th birthday, Hayes hour-long performance at the Black Woodstock has never been available in its entirety until now. A thrilling counterpoint to his complex studio opuses, the performance feeds off the post-Civil Rights mood of black power and highlights the full glory of his extraordinary 15-piece band The Movement, supplemented here by a small orchestra. From the honeyed euphoria of “Never Can Say Goodbye” to the feral intensity of “Shaft” and the gospel testifying of “I Stand Accused”, it is mighty impressive stuff. The only low point is the inclusion of Jesse Jackson’s hammy closing address.