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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Soul > Curtis Mayfield In Concert (Ohne Filter)

Curtis Mayfield In Concert – Ohne Filter

 

Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Concert: B-

 

 

In one of the most poignant installments of German TV’s Ohne Filter TV concert series comes this April 28th, 1990 appearance by Curtis Mayfield.  Possibly the last major concert of his that was recorded before his paralyzing stage accident on August 13th of that year, when a lighting tower collapsed on him, he here does some of his best known hits in a carefully reflective way that sacrifices power for a sense of careful wisdom that still retains the flavor of the original hits.  Only a music master could pull this off, and he does in the following tracks:

 

1)     Theme From Superfly

2)     It’s All Right

3)     Gypsy Woman

4)     Do Be Down

5)     Freddie’s Dead from Superfly

6)     Pusherman from Superfly

7)     Billy Jack

8)     We Gotta Have Peace

9)     People Get Ready

10)  Move On Up from Claudine

11)  To Be Invisible

 

The Superfly tracks have become even more popular lately in the Hip Hop revival and revisionist approach to the Blaxploitation cycle.  They hold up in the same way Marvin Gaye’s socially conscious works of the 1970s endure.  Mayfield sings them with a sense of just how right and prophetic he really was.  It’s All Right, Gypsy Woman and People Get Ready are good renditions of some of the many hits he had with The Impressions.  He wrote most of their songs and they have some famous covers.  Brian “Sealed With A Kiss” Hyland did an odd cover of Gypsy Woman in 1970, while Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart remade People Get Ready for one of Beck’s albums years ago that might mark the last time Stewart snag with any empathy and Rock/Blues depth.  Mayfield here does them better and instead of singing as if they were nostalgia, you can here him sounding still vital and alive enough in the singing.

 

This is a very pleasant experience and as music genius still in remarkable form.  Too bad there was disaster ahead and no well-deserved comeback.  Fans of Mayfield and his music will be happy with this one.  The full frame PAL color video is about what would expect for a taping of the time, having the usual limits in its good color and limited definition.  The sound is available in the usual PCM CD-type 2.0 16bit/48kHz Stereo, as well as a slightly better Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3, which plays better all around.  The PCM is decent and Dolby better than usual, almost up there with the 5.1 here heard in the Mark King, Tony Joe White or even the band America’s DVD from the series, all reviewed elsewhere on this site.  Besides repeating the same stereo cords ad placement, other DVDs in the series, and Ohne Filter producer interview, it has a good biography of Mayfield.  That rounds out a fine DVD concert.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo

 


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