The Los Angeles studio wizards behind The Tribe Band are practiced hands at group tributes and they’ve overseen a thunderous holiday session that includes contributions by some of the defining voices of the last forty years of popular music — including the irrepressible Kenny Loggins, the electrifying Melissa Manchester, the soulful Lamont Dozier, Jr., the effortlessly winning Richard Marx, and the incomparable Michael McDonald.
They’ve joined their golden voices with those of Freda Payne, Ken Stacey, Frank McComb, Florence LaRue, Terrell Edwards, and many others on The Tribe’s rendition of “This Christmas,” the 1970 seasonal ballad by the late Donny Hathaway. Alas, Hathaway didn’t live to see his composition become a Christmas standard: his death in 1979 robbed popular music of one of its guiding spirits. But we can be pretty certain that he’d appreciate the passion, commitment, and sheer musical precision that The Tribe and their associates bring to their version of his song, produced and arranged by Ken Stacey — which was one of the first Christmas records to be written and recorded by an African-American artist. One by one, these celebrated singers step to the microphone and deliver their lines with absolute conviction and immense soul, paying tribute to Hathaway’s vision with every note. Appropriately, The Tribe is contributing all proceeds from the sales of “This Christmas” to the Donny Hathaway Legacy Project, a nonprofit dedicated to providing mental health resources to those who desperately need them.