Artist: Curtis Mayfield
Title: Mayfield: Remixed -The Curtis Mayfield Collection
Genre: Soul-Funk-R & B
Label: Rhino Records
Curtis Mayfield left us in 1999 to be at the side of our heavenly father. What he left behind was an incredibly powerful legacy of music and words that can apply to everyday life today just as it did when people first heard it. His music is relevant and this collection revisits some of the biggest hits with a slightly different slant.
On this disc, some of the best mixers in the business give the hits of Mayfield the club-dub treatment. The effect is hypnotic and at the same time puts a different modern spin on the tracks. “Superfly” and “Freddie’s Dead” sound wonderful. I remember hearing them on a regular basis on the radio when I was a child.
Back then, I had no idea what the music was about, today I can hear loud and clear that Mayfield was speaking to an audience that felt like he did. Folks concerned with war, drug abuse, and the difficulties that black Americans had to battle in the inner cities could understand what he was trying to convey through his art form. It is a different world today but we still have many of the same issues degrading our society, its just more complex now. It would do us all good to listen again to the message that Mayfield had. He was a pioneer in many ways, his music was groundbreaking in the funk and soul genre and he did not bend his values or his heartfelt beliefs for the opportunity to cash in.
Most of this album was enjoyable and some of it was a bit too much. Too much tweaking and fiddling with a song removes the heart of what it was intended to do in the first place, “Pusherman” is a good example of this; with sprinkles of hip-hop flavorings, there is too much of the mixing aspect that prevails. “People Get Ready,” an all time classic tune, loses some of its appeal as well.
With the exception of those two tracks, the mix masters do a nice job adding a little more funk and modern twist to the Mayfield repertoire. The sound is incredible on this CD; the EQ must have been in the red during the mastering, as it comes out of the speakers exceptionally loud with a big thumping bass, which is a trademark of this type of music.
Mayfield’s son Kirk writes a touching tribute to the man in the CD booklet. He gives a view of an individual that was a rock of Gibraltar for his family, and one that was both spiritual and intelligent. He left a lasting impression upon those he loved and Kirk makes it quite clear what a special person he was. After reading about Mayfield, it made me look at his music in an entirely different way. If you buy this CD, I suggest you read the tribute before listening.
March 13, 2005
01. Superfly (Little Louie Vega EOL Mix)
02. Do Do Wap Is Strong In Here (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit)
03. Move On Up (Eric Kupper Vocal Mix)
04. We’re A Winner (Grandmaster Flash Remix) – The Impressions
05. Little Child Runnin’ Wild (King Britt Scuba Mix)
06. Freddie’s Dead (Theme From “Superfly”) (Blaze Roots DJ Mix)
07. (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below We’re All Going To Go (Maurice Joshua Nu Soul Mix)
08. We Got To Have Peace (Eddie Baez Laid Back Mix)
09. People Get Ready (StoneBridge Club Remix) – The Impressions
10. Pusherman (MIXMASTERMIKE Pusher’s Nephew Mix)