Various Artists

A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield [Warner Bros.]

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A fabulous assortment of artists from different areas of the rock genre give a glorifying tribute to Curtis Mayfield in a sparkling 17-song package. Stevie Winwood does a partying rendition of "It's All Right"; a version of "Let's Do It Again" is performed by Mayfield and the Repercussions that mimics the Staple Singers' original; Mayfield does Roebuck "Pops" Staples' parts. Bruce Springsteen tackles an early Impressions classic, "Gypsy Woman," and makes the mystical song even more eerie. The number of producers equals the artists on this fine production, so the sound changes from track to track. Rocker Lenny Kravitz does "Billy Jack" in a surprising Mayfield-like falsetto. Phil Collins' dead-slow reading of "I've Been Trying" is a subdued dandy. The album's two best performances are pulled off by the Isley Brothers ("I'm So Proud") and Tevin Campbell ("Keep On Pushing"). Ron Isley outdoes himself on Mayfield's pretty classic redefining soul with his emotive phrasings, and Campbell's taking-you-to-church performance of "Keep On Pushing" could inspire the homeless; the cut will make you a Campbell fan if you're not already. The revised Impressions do a remake of their own "I'm a Fool for You" accompanied by Branford Marsalis' jazzy riffs. For blues lovers, B.B. King rocks the house with an up-tempo, jumping "Woman's Got Soul." Stevie Wonder sings an old, obscure Impressions recording, "I'm the One Who Loves You," in the sassy style he exhibited when he was Little Stevie Wonder. Eric Clapton does a rousing version of "You Must Believe Me."

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