226

James Brown: Foundations of Funk

By

Sign in to view read count
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. James bumps and he triggers off a horn stab. He grinds and the band instantly switch up-tempo. He points a finger and invokes a $25 fine. No wonder the band was tight as a hot-panted mama.

This whopping double CD is the archivist's notion of funk. And a dream come true it is. We're treated to the previously edited single cuts of the late 60's/early 70's restored to their full original versions. Wheras most projects with out takes make you wish the extra material had remained in the vaults, this stuff is all 100% dynamite. Like the notorious artist who canned his own excrement and sold it, JB's casually lopped-off dog ends are primary source material. Early hip-hop was a mere franchise of JB, and the slower (real-time) 'Funky Drummer' is included. The looped remix has been so widely distributed that it is now considered by many to be the original. As a result of sample technology it is also (possibly) tatooed on the brains of lost Amazonian tribes who've never even heard of JB or for that matter even seen a record player.

Of course James Brown was as afraid of politics as he was a stone groove. He was way ahead of the pack in putting the "P" into funk. 'I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open up the Door I'll Get It Myself)' virtually goes as far as advocating segregation: "We got talents we can use on our side of town" he preaches. "Don't give me intergration give me true communication". His call for roots is tempered with social conscience though: "Give me schools and give me better books, so I can read about myself and gain my truly looks".

But it's the sheer energy here that's astonishing. If you want to recharge your batteries you can get nothing more potent as far as I'm concerned. Just press play and get plugged into the mains.

So in conclusion: As an introduction to the Brother James this can do no wrong. As a completist's reference it's a dream . . . So what are you waiting for huh? Open up the door, go git it yourself!

| Record Label: Polydor Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!