Curtis Mayfield – Roots

ARTIST: Curtis Mayfield    220px-curtis_mayfield_-_roots_album_cover

TITLE:  Roots

YEAR RELEASED: 1971

CHART ACTION: #40, #6 R&B

SINGLES: Get Down (#69, #13 R&B), Beautiful Brother of Mine (#45 R&B), We Got to Have Peace (#32 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None

LINEUP: Curtis Mayfield, Craig McMullen, Joseph Scott, Tyrone McCullen, Henry Gibson, Leroy Hutson, Michael Hawkins

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second studio solo studio side from Mayfield moves his funk vision forward.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Curtis Mayfield’s move from the Impressions vocal magic toward being a funk auteur is complete with this great 1971 album. A hot ensemble featuring some great bass work by Joseph “Lucky” Scott creates outta site grooves, while Mayfield’s voice floats above it all.

Even though Mayfield still has his social conscious side, he’s also moved into the carnal with the salacious “Get Down”. His vocals adapt from that randy funk to “Keep On Keeping On”, a great ballad about perseverance.

Mayfield wouldn’t strike retail gold just yet, but while this album isn’t as well known as others by him, it’s definitely funky enough to have in your collection.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The female vocalists aren’t credited, and one of them definitely did some ‘work’ on “Get Down”.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, single edits and a demo.

GRADE: A:  Solid songs, arrangements, and vocals, and then there’s the funk. Always with the funk.

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