Terry Callier (vocal, guitar; b. 1945)
Terry Callier is a living legend. Some people could compare him to Richie Havens but I would highly disagree. Where Havens pourd his heart into the politics of the day, Terry Callier shined with the sorrow of the moment. Born in Chicago, his lyrics reflect the deep spiritual nature and urban struggles of his upbringing.
Terry Callier had recorded one studio album for Prestige records and two live albums before his critically acclaimed Occasional Rain (Universal) released in 1972. Occasional Rain is a wonderful slice of sixties folk mixed with seventies soul wrapped with the undertones of bop. Pure lyrical poetry in my opinion.
Callier retired during the '80s and learned computer programming. He worked at the University of Chicago until a few DJs/Producers from the highly influential label Acid Jazz label came calling. Callier made a resurgence (mainly in the UK and Europe) in the late '90s with an album entitled Timepeace (Verve, 1998).
He has since recorded 4 more albums including the most recent Hidden Conversations (Mr. Bongo, 2009). He has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Beth Orton, Massive Attack, Urban Species, 4hero and Paul Weller. He is still somewhat under-rated in America but I hope more people get to experience his music because I believe it will transform the way you view music again.
There are 11 studio albums and 5 live albums and if you are truly interested there is a great import compilation called Life Lessons: The Best Of Terry Callier (Music Club Deluxe) which covers everything up to 2006 - Highly recommended.
Here are my top five to purchase:
1) What Colour Is Your Love (Universal)
2) Timepeace (Verve)
3) Look Out (Mr. Bongo)
4) The New Folk Sound (Fantasy)
5) Live At Mother Blues (Premonition)
If you are in the UK you should check him out on his upcoming tour. For the rest of us, check out his classic "Ordinary Joe" from Occasional Rain on the official site Terry Callier.