First Listen: Tony Hightower swings an Earth Wind & Fire classic

(November 13, 2021) Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” is one of those songs that entered into the R&B canon well before singer Lucky Daye collaborated with The Elements of the Universe to reimagined it as the current hit “You Want My Love.” There is something about the laid-back funky swing of the bass line laid down by Verdine White and Maurice White’s vocal that attracts talented artists the way bees flock to honey.

It hooked Raheem DeVaughn in 2005 and now it’s hooked Tony Hightower in 2021. Hightower gives the soul classic the ultimate test of a song’s durability by transforming “Can’t Hide Love” into a straight-ahead jazz song. The song holds up quite well. That should not be surprising, considering White’s background as a jazz musician. In fact, this version of “Can’t Hide Love” flat out swings.

(November 13, 2021) Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” is one of those songs that entered into the R&B canon well before singer Lucky Daye collaborated with The Elements of the Universe to reimagined it as the current hit “You Want My Love.” There is something about the laid-back funky swing of the bass line laid down by Verdine White and Maurice White’s vocal that attracts talented artists the way bees flock to honey.

It hooked Raheem DeVaughn in 2005 and now it’s hooked Tony Hightower in 2021. Hightower gives the soul classic the ultimate test of a song’s durability by transforming “Can’t Hide Love” into a straight-ahead jazz song. The song holds up quite well. That should not be surprising, considering White’s background as a jazz musician. In fact, this version of “Can’t Hide Love” flat out swings.

Hightower’s version features takes all of those great EW&F elements and puts them in an acoustic jazz idiom. The horns possess an Ellingtonian swing, while the acoustic double bass provides the perfect foundation for a saxophone solo and for Hightower’s vocals that encompass both this jazz and R&B influences. Hightower’s mom, Theresa Hightower, was a sought-after jazz singer in his native Atlanta, and Hightower has a very strong R&B base, having performed with the late Gerald Levert, Lionel Richie, and OutKast, to name a few.

His jazzy version of “Can’t Hide Love” is the lead single on Hightower’s upcoming album Legacy, which is scheduled to drop in early November. Check out “Can’t Hide Love” here.

By Howard Dukes

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