James Brown – Live At The Newport Jazz Festival (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgThe jazz police had a field day with the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival, which marked George Wein’s blatant capitulation to the burgeoning rock market. While the usual names like Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Phil Woods, Charles Mingus and Anita O’Day were on hand to represent the jazz contingent, a whole host of arena rock bands were booked for the annual summer bash in Rhode Island. In its coverage that year, Down Beat ran the cover line: “Big Crowds, Bad Vibes.” And in his report on the festival, respected jazz writer Ira Gitler referred to the whole affair as “the Newport Jive Festival.”

Gitler’s colleague Dan Morgenstern also had little use for the rock acts, though he was considerably kinder to James Brown. As he wrote: “This was the most professional presentation of the festival, running smoothly from start to finish.” Indeed, it was the James Brown Show, a classy production replete with opening act (the Dee Felice piano trio), polished choreography, comedic relief (in the form of Nipsey Russell) and a dynamic, tightly-executed set in which the Hardest Working Man in Show Business trotted out hit after hit.

Though both Down Beat and Rolling Stone proclaimed Wein’s rock experiment at the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival a “disaster,” James Brown’s appearance there was an unequivocal triumph. This document of that memorable Sunday afternoon set on July 6th stands as a welcome addition to the legendary Godfather of Soul’s remarkable recorded legacy. (wolfgangs.com)

What a blessing.
A high energy, quality recorded boot, captured at the height of the James Brown craze…and when James himself was at his wildest.

His band bashed it out, but managed to stay tight and funky.
JB was all over the stage moving and grooving, and hitting you hard.
Dig the early appearance of “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” to the live set, the hit single released only a few months earlier.
…and what’s great is at Newport Jazz Festival the band had 1 hour to get in and get out, making the tunes here tighter than ever.

Every instrument comes in so clear, and the intricacies of how they all work together come across quite nicely here.
A powerful high energy soundboard performance that you are guaranteed to blast. (by breakwind)


James Brown (vocals)
Bobby Byrd (organ)
Joe Davis (trumpet)
Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis (saxophone)
Richard “Kush” Griffith (trumpet)
Alphonso “Country” Kellum (guitar)
Jimmy Nolen (guitar)
Maceo Parker (saxophone)
St. Clair Pinckney (saxophone)
Charles Sherrell (bass)
Clyde Stubblefield (drums)
Fred Wesley (trombone)


01. Soul Pride (instrumental) (Ellis/Brown) 2.42
02. Popcorn (instrumental) (Brown) 5.47
03. Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (instrumental) (Persons/Ellington) 4.08
04. Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud (Ellis/Brown) 4.55
05. If I Ruled The World (Ornadel) 3.54
06. Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) 4.43
07. Licking Stick (Ellis/Brown/Byrd) 1.28
08. Try Me (Brown) 2.42
09. There Was A Time (Hobgood/Brown) 5.03
10. Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose (Bobbit) 3.05
11. It’s A Man’s World (Brown/Jean) 3.11
12. Please, Please, Please (Brown/Terry) 2.18
13. I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me) (Brown) 1.40
14. Mother Popcorn (Ellis/Brown) 8.07
Track 15. Mother Popcorn (Encore) (Ellis/Brown) 5.21




James Brown (May year of rec3, 1933 – December 25, 2006)


James Brown And The Famous Flames – Try Me (1959)

FrontCover1.jpgJames Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul”. In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres.

Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. He joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra (by wikipedia)

And here´s the very young James Brown:

When James Brown and His Famous Flames finally scored a second hit with their 11th single, “Try Me,” King Records constructed this 16-track LP, including the hit along with both sides of three of its follow-ups, “I Want You So Bad”/”There Must Be a Reason,” “I’ve Got to Change”/”It Hurts to Tell You,” and “Got to Cry”/”It Was You”; the B-side of a fourth follow-up, “Don’t Let It Happen to Me”; the 1957 single “Can’t Be the Same”/”Gonna Try”; the 1957 B-sides “I Won’t Plead No More” and “Messing With the Blues”; the B-side of Brown’s first hit (“Please Please Please”), “Why Do You Do Me”; and three other stray tracks. The earliest work especially sounded more like that of a doo wop group rather than that of a gritty R&B solo singer. None of it measured up to “Try Me,” but you could see what Brown had been aiming at, and if the set list comprised what were in effect James Brown’s greatest flops, circa 1959, it demonstrated that he possessed as much promise as fervor. (Try Me! was reissued in 1964 under the title The Unbeatable James Brown: 16 Hits.) (by William Ruhlmann)


James Brown (vocals)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Edwyn Conley (bass)
C. Davis (saxophone)
George Dorsey (saxophone)
Ray Felder (saxophone)
Panama Francis (drums)
Alvin “Fats” Gonder (piano)
Edison Gore (drums)
Reginald Hall (drums)
Ernie Hayes (piano)
Nat Kendrick (drums)
Clarence Mack (bass)
Louis Madison (piano, background vocals)
Bernard Odum (bass)
Carl Pruitt (bass)
Bobby Roach (guitar)
Clifford Scott (saxophone)
Nafloyd Scott (guitar)
background vocals:
Bobby Byrd – Bill Hollings – Sylvester Keels – Wilbert Smith – Johnny Terry


01. There Must Be A Reason (Brown) 2.29
02. I Want You So Bad (Brown) 2.48
03. Why Do You Do Me (Byrd/Keels) 3.02
04. Got To Cry (Brown) 2.39
05. Strange Things Happen (Hawkins/Love/Melcher) 2.12
06. Fine Old Foxy Self (Brown) 2.11
07. Messing With The Blues (Hunt) 2.13
08. Try Me (Brown) 2.35
09. It Was You (Brown) 2.45
10. I’ve Got To Change (Brown) 2.28
11. Can’t Be The Same (Brown) 2.22
12. It Hurts To Tell You (Brown/Shubert) 2.55
13. I Won’t Plead No More (Byrd/Keels) 2.29
14. You’re Mine, You’re Mine (Brown/Scott) 2.34
15. Gonna Try (Brown) 2.47
16. Don’t Let It Happen To Me (Brown) 2.50




James Brown – Sings Merry Christmas (1966)

FrontCover1James Brown would have turned 81 this year. The Godfather of Soul died on december 25, Christmas Day in 2006.

James Brown’s passing on Christmas is remarkable, considering his affinity for Christmas and the popularity of his Christmas albums.

Brown recorded three Christmas-themed albums: James Brown Sings Christmas Songs (1966), A Soulful Christmas (1968) and Hey America (1970).

And this is his first Christmas album from 1966 …

SingleLabelA+B…..There were three singles released late in 1966, possibly all in December …

…..Between the second and third single is the most likely time for the release of the album LP THE JAMES BROWN CHRISTMAS ALBUM King Records K1010 (mono) and KS1010 (stereo) (US) 12/66. Not only was this album pressed several times with minor variations to the jacket but the same songs were assembled in a different order and released again in 1967(?) under the title JAMES BROWN AND HIS FAMOUS FLAMES SING CHRISTMAS SONGS.

…..The two versions of “THE CHRISTMAS SONG” and the other three covers on side B seem to be the last of the non-originals. (by lgcmusic02.blogspot)

James Brown (vocals)
The Famous Flames
lot of strings

01. Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year (Brown/Jones) 6.30
02. Sweet Little Baby Boy (Part 1) (Brown/Jones) 2.40
03. Sweet Little Baby Boy (Part 2) (Brown/Jones) 2.35
04. Merry Christmas, I Love You (Brown/Jones) 2.30
05. Signs Of Christmas (Brown/Jones) 4.38
06. The Christmas Song (Version 2) (Tormé/Wells) 2.45
07. Merry Christmas Baby (Baxter/Moore) 3.54
08. The Christmas Song (Version 1) (Tormé/Wells) 2.40
09. Please Come Home For Christmas (Brown/Redd) 3.20
10. This Is My Lonely Christmas (Part 1) (Brown/Redd) 3.00
11. This Is My Lonely Christmas (Part 2) (Brown/Redd) 4.45
12. Christmas In Heaven (Ward) 2.53