Roots is Curtis Mayfield's visionary album, a landmark creation every bit as compelling and far-reaching in its musical and extra-musical goals as Marvin Gaye's contemporary What's Goin' On. Opening on the hit "Get Down," the album soars on some of the sweetest and most eloquent – yet driving – soul sounds heard up to that time. Mayfield's growing musical ambitions, first manifested on the Curtis album, and his more sophisticated political sensibilities, presented with a lot of raw power on Curtis Live!, are pulled together here in a new, richer studio language, embodied in extended song structures ("Underground"), idealistic yet lyrically dazzling anthems ("We Got to Have Peace," "Keep On Keeping On," and, best of all, the soaring "Beautiful Brother of Mine"), and impassioned blues ("Now You're Gone").
A seminal figure in the New York jazz scene of the '50s & '60s, Herbie Mann's quest for authenticity led him to many corners of the musical world, from Cuba to Brazil to the Middle East and Africa. His adventures in soul and R&B throughout the '60s and '70s also resulted in remarkable recordings, from his hit single 'Comin' Home Baby', to the albums Memphis Underground and Muscle Shoals Nitty Gritty. Music.
As part of their ongoing reissue of the Crosby, Stills & Nash catalog, Rhino put out Demos, a collection of early home recordings of staples from the CSN catalog, demos recorded both alone and together between the years of 1968 and 1971. Unlike some similar collections, not much here is especially revelatory; apart from "Love the One You're With," here almost droning at the beginning, there are no great differences in lyrics or approach, with such solo recordings as "Almost Cut My Hair" pointing clearly to their latter full-blown incarnations.