Watch Curtis Mayfield LIVE 1988

He was known as the 'Gentle Giant,' his music filled with soulful poetic lyricism, a man with a message imparted through a body of work that remains timeless. Curtis Mayfield, leader of The Impressions, superb songwriter for such R&B stars as Major Lance and Walter Jackson, super producer of fellow icons like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, formidable solo recording artist in his own right, the man who created a slew of classic songs that have been recorded time and time again.

He was known as the 'Gentle Giant,' his music filled with soulful poetic lyricism, a man with a message imparted through a body of work that remains timeless. Curtis Mayfield, leader of The Impressions, superb songwriter for such R&B stars as Major Lance and Walter Jackson, super producer of fellow icons like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, formidable solo recording artist in his own right, the man who created a slew of classic songs that have been recorded time and time again.

From "People Get Ready" - revisited by such luminaries as Rod Stewart and Al Green - to "The Makings Of You," covered in 2001 by neo-soul queen Angie Stone, Mayfield's music has transcended generations. Even though the material he cut during the first few years of a solo career that began in 1970 seemed fitting for the times - including "Freddie's Dead," a key cut from the groundbreaking "Superfly" soundtrack and "(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go" - the messages resonate today. The destructive force of drugs, the specter of racism, these same issues that Mayfield addressed in song thirty years ago are sadly still relevant today.

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The greatness of Curtis Mayfield was captured in a concert video shot at London's Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in 1988. Check it out below and enjoy this master at work

 
SoulTracks Choice Cut - Toni Redd - "Underneath My Skin"
Song of the Month - Stokley - "Level"
CD of the Month - Phil Perry - Breathless
Pre-order now! - Norman Brown - Let It Go

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