Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Star Of The Show, Hard Workin', Mr. Dynamite, JAYYYYYYYMMMMMMES BROWN!

Is there anything we in this compound fractured, politically polarized, permanently, irrevocably SNAFU-ed kinda world anyone can agree on? Yes - James Brown A.K.A. "Soul Brother Number One," "The Godfather Of Soul," "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business," "Mr. Dynamite", belongs on the short list of greatest, most influential performers, recording artists and bandleaders of the 20th century.

And here are just a few slices of video from his long career to illustrate:

As Count Basie, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane did, Mr. Brown employed monster musicians - only the best and baddest jazz guys would do - to play and write charts for the JBS: trombonist/arranger Fred Wesley, saxophonists Pee Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker and St. Clair Pinckney: power-packed percussionists Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield and Melvin Parker; the electric bass/electric guitar 1-2 punch of Bootsy and Catfish Collins (A.K.A. the original Funk Bros.) - to name just a few.

Invariably, friends, music fans and pop culture buffs who read this will remind me that James, as Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso and Charlie Chaplin did, had some serious personal problems over the decades, and that his leadership style was more in the Bobby Knight/Woody Hayes taskmaster model than the ultra-cool Phil Jackson approach. However, whatever we armchair quarterback-bandleaders say now, the music stands - holy shit, does it stand!

Had enough? I haven't - here's some more!

This blog extends a propulsive, polyrhythmic, cosmic and utterly funk-drenched tip of the Jimmie Hatlo top hat to Mr. Ike Dyson for posting so many amazing Godfather Of Soul performances on his James Brown/JBS/Famous Flames YouTube channel.

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