Consumer Guide Album
Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions: The Anthology 1961-1977 [MCA, 1992]
The phat drumming and bar-band soul of Shanachie's People Get Ready tribute do Mayfield's delicacy a disservice. There's no gutbucket or hogmaw or Mississippi mud in his groove--unmooring gospel verities or floating off into space-case funk, he's so far out there that Johnny Pate's elaborate, light-bottomed orchestrations never trip him up. I'd curtail the juvenilia to salvage more of his radically sporadic solo career, but a songwriter this gifted has no trouble filling two CDs, and he's his own aptest vocal interpreter. Great unknown guitarist, too.