Take away the hand drums and the music of this man—another of the great artists to come out of Chicago in the last 50 years—would have a whole different flavor.
Curtis Mayfield (with Master Henry Gibson on hand drums), “Move On Up,” live, The Netherlands (The Hague), 1987
In the Sixties, you had percussionists like Master Henry Gibson that was playing with Curtis Mayfield and he was pretty much used as melodic accents. When you listen to a lot of Curtis’ work after the Impressions, rather than a horn player he’s got Henry Gibson out front on percussions. A lot of people had missed that in the sense of compositional expression.—Kahil El’Zabar