When I heard that Terry Callier passed away at the disappointingly young age of 67, I didn’t plan to post anything, as I assumed all the many obituaries would have it covered. But beyond the numerous recaps of his bio and career, I feel like his work is still being neglected even after his death. Particularly, what a badass, underrated record his third album, What Color Is Love? (1973) is. I could also mention that from what I read, what a down-to-earth, humble guy he seemed to be, kind of reminding me of Bill Withers, who posed for one of his album covers holding his lunchbox on break from his day job. And how he took a long break from the music business to raise his daughter by himself while working as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago. Or how he was childhood buds with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, performed in doo-wop groups, and established a unique style of folk/jazz/soul as early as 1964. But what many are neglecting to mention is that some of his work measures up to the best of not only his old friend Curtis Mayfield, but also Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Donny Hathaway. Occasional Rain (1972) and I Just Can’t Help Myself (1974) are pretty great too. But in my humble opinion, I think What Color Is Love? beats out Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together (1971), Donny Hathaway’s Extension Of A Man (1973), Mayfield’s Back To The World (1973), both Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On (1973) AND (challenging opinion here) What’s Going On (1971), Stevie Wonder’s Music Of My Mind (1972) and Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974) and kicks the living shit out of every album Isaac Hayes ever did. Pay tribute to the man and buy the album and decide for yourself! RIP T.C.
More soul: Tryin’ To Run My Game On Ya: 70s Soul