Q - 12/00, p.1444 stars out of 5
- "...Sheds light on Mayfield's lasting impact....A sermon on mankind's impoverished spirit, delivered with and a wink."
Down Beat - 1/02, p.46
Included in Downbeat's "Best CDs of 2001".
Personnel: Curtis Mayfield (vocals, guitar); Craig McMullen (guitar); Joseph "Lucky" Scott (bass); Tyrone McCullen (drums); Henry Gibson (bongos, congas, tumbas).
Producer: Curtis Mayfield.
Reissue producer: Michael Wesley Johnson.
Recorded live at The Bitter End, New York, New York in January 1971 & WTTV-TV, Chicago, Illinois in September 1973. Originally released on Curton/Buddah (CRS-8005). Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch (DigiPrep).
Personnel: Curtis Mayfield (vocals, guitar); Craig McMullen (guitar); Tyrone McCullen (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Daniel Hersch.
Recording information: The Bitter End, New York, NY (01/1971-??/1971); WTTW-TV studios, Chicago, IL (01/1971-??/1971).
Curtis/Live! is, simply, one of the greatest concert albums ever cut on a soul artist, and one of the legendary live albums of all time. Cut in January of 1971 during four nights at The Bitter End (then Greenwich Village's leading music venue) in New York, the resulting double LP transcended any expectations in both its programming and execution -- Mayfield performed numbers off of the Curtis album ("[Don't Worry] If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go"), as well as exciting and urgent new versions of songs originally performed by the Impressions ("We're a Winner," "People Get Ready," "Gypsy Woman"), plus a very moving R&B version of "We've Only Just Begun." This is all beautifully stripped-down work by a quintet consisting of Mayfield (vocals, guitar), Craig McMullen (guitar), Tyrone McCullen (drums), "Master" Henry Gibson (percussion), and Joseph "Lucky" Scott (bass) -- a solid, intense performance, with quietly elegant guitar playing against a rock-solid rhythm section, as Impressions hits are rethought and reconfigured in a new context, and Mayfield's early solo repertory comes to life in newer, longer live versions. [The British import from Sequel adds the complete contents of 1973's live Curtis in Chicago.] ~ Bruce Eder