My friend Rob requested that we do this at our New Year’s Eve gig the other night. I’ve always been aware of some of the great playing on Aretha’s records from the 70s, but never actually taken down any of the lines (apart from the obvious ones). With that in mind, obviously I had to go totally overboard and do a note-for-note transcription!
This is such a great song (co-written by Stevie Wonder – those parallel major 7ths are a giveaway!), and the all-star session line-up makes it even better. Chuck Rainey on bass, the one-and-only Bernard Purdie on drums, Donny Hathaway on keys… all supporting Aretha, delivering yet another killer vocal and piano performance.
Some recording info for the bass nerds: I used my trusty Fender Classic 50s Precision (made in Mexico and completely stock), strung with some ageing Labella flats, and with a little bit of foam under the bridge, of course. On the way in I used my Cali76 compressor and Noble preamp, which really come into their own for this style of music. On the mix I used a bit of Vulf Compressor (I’m in danger of that becoming a catchphrase), and gently rolled off the bass below 100Hz. Not much else needed!
Last and not least, you can download the transcription here.