“New York Lightning” is a killer Voices Of East Harlem track which has shown up on the expanded reissue of their debut album Right On Be Free, as well as the excellent compilation Soul Gospel. This song was written by Anthony Davilio, a multi-talented session musician who’s played on a some of my favorite records: The Five Stairsteps’ “Dear Prudence and “Ooh Child,” Cher’s version of Leon Russell’s “Superstar,” John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy, and Yoko’s Season of Glass. I assume he had something to do with the production of this track as well.
Davilio actually was the arranger for Double Fantasy, won a bevy of awards, and wrote a memoir of his experiences with the couple in the studio, which you can check out here. He’s the man with the beard behind Lennon in the photo above.
Many of the extra tracks on the reissue of Right On Be Free were overseen by one of my favorites frequently mentioned here, Mr. Donny Hathaway. This is an album well-worth finding, if you’re into this sort of thing. Honestly, there’s not too much of a religious overtone to the music, which is how I prefer it.
Without further ado:
And a video of the group’s contribution to Marlo Thomas’ Free To Be You And Me (1974), a sartorial delight: