14 September 2015 (released)
14 September 2015
Call him what you want; Soul Brother No. 1, Godfather of Soul or Master of The One or The Funkmeister, James Brown was THE greatest ever at doing what he did and that was GROOOOOOOVE.
This package catches him just past his peak in 1980 in concert at Chastain Park Atlanta Georgia and it features just about every number he made his name on: ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose’, ‘Get On The Good Foot’, ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’, ‘I Got You’ and ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s World’. Backed as ever by the J. B.’s (but not including Fred Wesley or the Collins brothers as they had departed for Parliament/Funkadelic) who were drilled to a point of perfection by Brown himself.
The set has a wonderful sense of timing and the changes in tempo from outright funk to gospel soul and back again are seamless. The band sound as though they are playing free (although Brown would never let that happen) and Brown’s vocals are exactly what you would expect.
All of the man’s stage moves are in evidence; the spins, rubber legs, mike rides and knee drops as well as the costume changes and he definitely looks as though he is happy to be back in Atlanta (an impassioned version of ‘Georgia On My Mind’).
A lovely version of ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s World’ reminds you just how impressive a vocalist he was but he really shines on the pure funk of numbers like ‘Cold Sweat’ and the sublime ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’.
It isn’t quite James Brown at his mighty best but not far off the prime period and you get the benefit of excellent camera work and superb recording quality to bring it up a notch.