Various Artists – The Curtom Story: Curtis Mayfield’s School Of 20th Century Soul

Double CD focusing on Chicago soul giant's work with friends and disciples

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The generosity of spirit that runs through Curtis Mayfield’s solo work helped fuel a parallel career as soul auteur. With the similarly gospel-bred, independent-minded Sam Cooke as role model, Mayfield formed Curtom as a publishing company in 1963. Despite financial problems as a label, Curtom’s broad church embraced The Impressions-era close harmonies of The Five Stairsteps And Cubie and The Fascinations, the 1979 material girl manifesto of Linda Clifford’s “Don’t Give It Up” and latter-day offerings from former associates Fred Wesley and Mavis Staples. Curtis’ own offerings stand out, but the purity of his vision seldom fails to shine.

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