What's the Curtis Mayfield stuff that influenced Hendrix's chordal playing?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Yer Blues, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    When I was younger one of my buddies let me borrow a 3 cd Mayfield set, but I didn't really hear it at the time. I would like to revisit it now. What albums should I check out?
     
  2. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

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  3. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    It's less of a feature in the early Impressions sides, you'll have to listen for it in the mix on stuff like "Woman's Got Soul." Much more of a feature on something like "We're a Winner" which is '68, and I think Curtis' greatest record of all:

     
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    A couple of early ones with some of those characteristic Mayfieldisms, but again they're deep in the mix and arrangement:




    and:



    To the original question: my recommendation for great Mayfield albums to check out are: some kind of Impressions anthology; The Impressions' The Young Mod's Forgotten Story; the solo albums Curtis, Roots, Curtis/Live, and the Superfly soundtrack.
     
  5. magilla

    magilla michaelggguitar (IG) Gold Supporting Member

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    Curtis's influences can definitely be heard in Jimi's R&B phrasing, particularly trills and mordent figures and double (or triple) stop slides. Also, Jimi's chordal work, especially his hammer on minor 7th bar chord (Am7 shape).

    So good.
     
  6. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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  7. Reddog

    Reddog Member

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    I too, have been interested in this kind of rhythm playing. Every RnB rhythm player I follow, points back to Curtis as a major influence. Interestingly, Nile Rodgers referred to George Van Eps also as an influence.
     
  8. silvertone

    silvertone Member

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    This is a cool question because it kinda illustrates how great musicians didn't just ape their influences. I know what you mean...I've always heard about Curtis being an influence, and I love his playing. But it's such a subtle thing he does, in the context of accompanying himself on the songs. (He also used a unique open tuning) Jimi took that little bit of genius and created his own thing with it. You may wanna check out Ry Cooder after listening to Curtis as well. He's another one who took his influences and turned them into something unique.
     
  9. Mark Barna

    Mark Barna Member

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    Sorry, but I heard no riffs on here that sounded like Hendrix appropriated them for his ballad-style chordal playing.
     
  10. sst

    sst Member

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    I think Mayfield influence on Hendrix has been overstated. The only song that I think Hendrix was clearly influenced by was People Get Ready which was likely a big influence. Apart from that song Mayfield did not really use that piano like chord phrasing in any of his other impressions song. "Think" from Superfly is similar but that was record after Hendrix's death.
     
  11. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

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    Hammered 3rds a la "Wind Cries Mary," definite Curtis tilt!!


    .
     
  12. DryBones

    DryBones Member

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  13. weenerdoggs

    weenerdoggs What's Up Dogg?

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    And then take a listen to Electric Lady Land. I think that is pretty much the most Curtis Mayfield like playing in Hendrix's work (IMHO).

    And maybe move back to the Pusherman or So In Love by Curtis.

    They both used a lot of licks over chord shapes, and I think the rumor is that Hendrix in part was groovin to Curtis' style, and I am sure vice-versa.

    Cool Stuff. Its really what a lot of urban Soul and Neo Soul draw from. Kinda suspended between motown, funk, and soul.

    ;) Enjoy! Nice to see this post here as my wife and daughter and I were enjoying some Mayfield on a little road trip last week

    j.

     
  14. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    The OP never said anything about ballads. The sliding double stops and triple stops (double and triple stops are chords after all) that Mayfield -- who played in an open tuning -- and Steve Cropper really specialized in, and which Hendrix borrowed from, are on clear display on "We're a Winner." Of course, Hendrix's own intro to Don Covay's "Mercy Mercy" was also a classic of that sort of playing from the early 1960s together with the work of Mayfield and Cropper.

    The mordent phrases, as Magilla describes them them -- the little trill like phrases that Hendrix commonly used -- are best heard in "Gypsy Woman" I think.
     
  15. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Good call. A ton of Mayfield flavor in that.

     
  16. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

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    I think the track I posted, I've Been Trying, draws a pretty direct line from Curtis to Jimi on EL.
     
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I think the problem some people have in hearing the influence is that in the Hendrix records the guitar is a big, out-front feature. On the Impressions records its small touches in the background so it's not as clearly heard. But of course Hendrix not only heard the records but was on the road for years with his peers among the R&B players. But yeah, "Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)," in particular almost sounds like a post-psychedelic version of an Impressions tune with the falsetto vocal, the Mayfieldish guitar, the dreamy vibe.
     
  18. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

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    "Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)" is absolute perfection for me. That Impressions sound was a big part of my childhood and, although I didn't get hip to Jimi until much later, that tune wraps it all up into to one for me--the falsetto vocal, the Curtis-inspired guitar, the harmonies, etc.
     
  19. timberic

    timberic Member

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    Curtis Live is a great set. Recorded at the Bitter End in 1971. Just guitar, bass, drums and percussion. Really highlights Curtis' rhythm playing.
     
  20. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    This Impressions stuff is great! I really like this kind of soul, gospel, R&B inspired music with great harmonies. I actually recognize some of the songs just from "pop culture", but didn't realize it was the Impressions.

    The Curtis Live album with just guitar, bass, drums, and percussion sounds interesting. I might check that out next.
     

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