Curtis Mayfield is one of my favorite musicians. Not only was he an amazing songwriter and singer, his guitar playing was incredible. He usually played with a delicate touch which I really enjoy. Hearing him strum the chords in “We People Darker Than Blue” kills me every time. I could hear him play those two chords forever, but the live version features an excellent transition from that song into “Give Me Your Love” which is a really nice shift.
I still remember the first time I heard “Move On Up” and how I felt I had come across the greatest song ever written. It was one of those gems you just want to listen to over and over again. This must have been what Ken Shapiro was thinking when he directed The Groove Tube. The song works perfectly in that opening cut. For those who haven’t heard it yet, make sure you listen to Curtis Live! as I don’t know if there is a better live album ever recorded. It features his amazing group in a small setting where you can feel their presence. The band is so tight it’s hard to breathe when you listen to it for fear of missing something.