Mayfield: Remixed - The Curtis Mayfield Collection
Viewed through the prism of the past two decades, Curtis Mayfield has been celebrated as a hip-hop prophet, largely because of his Superfly blaxploitation soundtrack of smooth funk grooves and ghetto poetics. But the late Chicago soul pioneer's relevance extends far beyond hip-hop, as this atypically reverent remix album reminds. Louie Vega bumps up the tempo and beats of "Superfly" via newly recorded guitar, bass, brass, flute and percussion parts that take the 1972 anthem on a jazzy club excursion. Grandmaster Flash misfires with his remix of "We're a Winner," cheapening the Impressions' 1968 black-pride epic with tinny Eighties rhythms. The set's surprise knockout is King Britt's hallucinatory version of "Little Child Runnin' Wild." Shot through with dense, spiraling layers of slo-mo acid guitars and booming dub bass, the track now suggests twenty-first-century Jimi Hendrix as it re-imagines Mayfield's 1972 original through a junkie's blown mind. It's a killer.