Curtis Mayfield's solo work and his work with the Impressions are highwater marks in popular music, representing the Chicago soul music constituency popular in the 1960s and '70s. His influence is yet to be fully realized or understood today, making his creative corpus a very tantalizing source of material for modern players. Jazz Soul Seven, an all-star septet under the erstwhile leadership leadership of drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pays a fully-realized tribute to the music of Mayfield on Impressions of Curtis Mayfield.
This is the highest caliber of music made by the highest caliber of musicians. Arrangements are dense and funky, capturing well the essence of Mayfield's generous gift while constantly feeding new ideas and sound combinations for consideration. Mayfield's touchstone, "People Get Ready," offers a case in point. This piece could have been arranged in any number of ways, all being more than acceptable. But the arrangement allows pianist Russell Ferrante to play a skewed gospel vibe, one that does not fully resolve itself into traditional harmonies. He still manages to find the soul and funk supporting the other's solos. The effect is fresh. Trumpeter Wallace Roney's muted-bell is as sophisticated as tenor saxophonistErnie Watts's solo. Guitarist Phil Upchurch takes the band out on a wordy guitar note, after adding damped filigree to the song's interior. This is a most excellent cover of a most excellent song.
Track Listing: Freddie's Dead; It's All Right; Move On Up; We're a Winner; Superfly;
Beautiful Brother of Mine; Check Out Your Mind; I'm So Proud; Keep On
Pushing; People Get Ready; Gypsy Woman; Amen.
Personnel: Terri Lyne Carrington: drums; Russ Ferrante: piano; Master Henry Gibson:
percussion; Bob Hurst: bass; Wallace Roney: trumpet; Phil Upchurch:
guitar; Ernie Watts: saxophone.
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.