Personnel includes: Donny Hathaway (vocals, acoustic & electric piano, organ, keyboards, bass), Keith Loving, David Spinozza (guitar), Julien Barber (violin), Charlie McCracken (cello), Gloria Agnosti (harp), Phil Bodner (clarinet, alto saxophone), Seldon Powell (clarinet, tenor saxophone), H. Schuman (oboe), Ernie Royal, Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Tony Studd, Wayne Andre (trombone), Don Butterfield (tuba), Gordon Edwards, Willie Weeks (bass), Ray Lucas, Rick Marotta (drums), Ralph MacDonald (percussion).
Background vocals: William "Mac" McCollum, Mario "Big M" Medious, Richard Wells, Jimmy Douglass, Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith, Myrna Summers, The Interdenominational Singers.
Engineers: Jimmy Douglass, Phil Ramone, Gene Paul, Murray Allen, Lew Hahn, Dixon Van Winkle, Malcolm Addey, Joe Ferla.
Recorded at A&R Recording Studios, Bell Sound Studios, Regent Sound Studios and Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, New York; Universal Studios, Chicago, Illinois between October 11, 1971 and November 26, 1973. Originally released on Atco (7029). Includes liner notes by A. Scott Galloway, Nikki Giovanni and Donny Hathaway.
Donny Hathaway's third solo studio album, EXTENSION OF A MAN, followed the soul singer's lauded 1972 collaboration with vocalist Roberta Flack. Rather than scaling back his ambitions and playing it safe after that highly successful duet record, Hathaway opted to widen the scope of his eclectic sound even more, opening EXTENSION with the ambitious, lushly orchestral "I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry (Parts I & II)."
Of course, it doesn't take long for the husky-voiced Hathaway, also a talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, to mix things up, as he eases into tracks ranging from folk-tinged soul ("Someday We'll All Be Free") to romantic R&B ("Love, Love, Love") to driving funk ("Come Little Children," "The Slums"). Sadly, this would be Hathaway's last full-length outing before his depression-related suicide in '79. While EXTENSION OF A MAN hints at what could have been an even more illustrious musical career, it also stands as an enduring testament to Hathaway's remarkable legacy.