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by Chris M. Slawecki
This article was originally published in August 2005. In rendering his decision in a 1964 obscenity trial, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote: I shall not today attempt to further define [pornography]... but I know it when I see it." You really can't define the Funk, either. In a typical four/four stomp, Funk comes down hard on the one," sure. And Funk often uses such instruments as guitars and keyboards more rhythmically (like percussion) than melodically. ...read more
by Jeff Dayton-Johnson
The One: The Life and Music of James Brown RJ SmithHardcover, 464 pagesISBN: 978-1592406579Gotham Books2012James Brown (1933-2006): singer, bandleader, composer, impresario, self-made man-- Amiri Baraka called him our number one black poet." Brown describes himself, in the pages of RJ Smith's biography, as 75 percent businessman and 25 percent entertainer." Readers may quibble with the percentages, but if by business," Brown referred to show business," then it is ...read more
by David Rickert
First off, don't be too quick to dismiss this album. James Brown gets his jazz credentials honestly, copping his stage antics from Louis Jordan and sprinkling his early releases with standards associated with the likes of Billy Eckstine and Nat King Cole. And with a band led by expert drummer Louis Bellson and arrangements by Oliver Nelson, certainly the ingredients are there for an interesting ride.
However, calling this James Brown's jazz album requires quite a stretch of the imagination, ...read more
by Steve Hanson
James Brown initially invented step and repeatae funk with 'Please Please Please' (not present here). Even the title summed it up. Bang. Bang. Bang. Which is pretty much how 'Cold Sweat', 'It's a New Day' and 'Ain't It Funky Now' go on this glorious compilation. But not in straight 4/4 time obviously, these tracks are performed in the key signature of rutting animals.
The band legendarily followed JB's movements as a cue and used his spectacular routines as rhythm inspiration. ...read more