Aretha Franklin – Live At The Jazzfestival Antibes (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgAretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and pianist. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1966, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, and “Spanish Harlem”.

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “The Queen of Soul”. Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, Gifted and Black (1972) and Amazing Grace (1972), before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, she left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1998, Franklin received international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards that year, replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that year, she scored her final Top 40 song with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin’s other well-known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Aretha Franklin01Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, she was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

After being raised in Detroit, Franklin relocated to New York City in the 1960s, where she lived until moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. She eventually settled in Encino, Los Angeles where she lived until 1982. She then returned to the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to be close to her ailing father and siblings. Franklin maintained a residence there until her death. Following an incident in 1984, she cited a fear of flying that prevented her from traveling overseas; she performed only in North America afterwards. Franklin was the mother of four sons. She first became pregnant at the age of 12 (!) and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. According to the news site Inquisitr, “The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.” On January 22, 1957, then aged 14 (!), Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Franklin did not like to discuss her early pregnancies with interviewers.

Both children took her family name. While Franklin was pursuing her career and “hanging out with [friends]”, Franklin’s grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children. Franklin would visit them often. Franklin’s third child, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.


Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore “Ted” White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19. Franklin had actually seen White the first time at a party held at her house in 1954. After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969. Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father’s church. By marrying Turman, Franklin became stepmother of Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984. At one point, Franklin had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson. Franklin and Wilkerson had had two previous engagements stretching back to 1988. Franklin eventually called the 2012 engagement off. Franklin’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians as well and spent years performing background vocals on Franklin’s recordings. Following Franklin’s divorce from Ted White, her brother Cecil became her manager, and maintained that position until his death from lung cancer on December 26, 1989. Sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma died from throat cancer in September 2002. Franklin’s step-brother Vaughn died two months after Erma in late 2002. Her half-sister, Carl Kelley (née Jennings; born 1940) is C. L. Franklin’s daughter by Mildred Jennings, a then 12-year-old congregant of New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, where C. L. was pastor.

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In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts, after she decided to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor. Discussing the surgery in 2011, she quoted her doctor as saying that it would “add 15 to 20 years” to her life. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as had been rumored. On May 19, 2011, Franklin had her comeback show in the Chicago Theatre. In May 2013, she canceled two performances to deal with an undisclosed medical treatment. Later the same month, she canceled three June concerts and planned to return to perform in July. A show scheduled for July 27 in Clarkston, Michigan was canceled due to continued medical treatment. In addition, she canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball luncheon in Chicago honoring her commitment to civil rights on August 24. She also canceled a performance of September 21 in Atlanta due to her health recovery. During a phone interview with the Associated Press in late August 2013, Franklin stated that she had a “miraculous” recovery from her undisclosed illness but had to cancel shows and appearances until her health was at 100%, estimating she was about “85% healed”. Franklin later returned to live performing, including a 2013 Christmas concert at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. She launched a multi-city tour in mid-2014, starting with a performance on June 14 in New York at Radio City Music Hall.

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In 2017, Franklin canceled a series of concerts due to health reasons. During an outdoor Detroit show, she asked the audience to “keep me in your prayers”. In July 2017, Franklin reemerged, appearing to have lost more weight before a performance at the Wolf Trap in Virginia. In 2018, she canceled a series of shows, citing doctor’s orders. Franklin’s final performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John’s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation on November 7, 2017.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit. She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and ex-husband Glynn Turman, among others, visited her on her deathbed. Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76. The cause was reported to be pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. president Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”. Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

A private funeral was arranged for August 31, following a two-day public viewing of Franklin’s casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. (by wikipedia)

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To honor this great woman … here´s a rare live broadcast recording from 1970, recorded live at the Jazzfestival Antibes/France.

Thanks to cosmikd for sharing the show at Dime.

Recorded live at the Festival de Jazz d’Antibes, Juan-les-Pins,
Antibes, France; July 21, 1970. Very good FM broadcast.

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Hindel Butts (drums)
Aretha Franklin (piano, vocals)
Leslie Harvey (guitar)
Melvin Jackson (bass)
Ted Sheely (piano)
Truman Thomas (organ)
Donald Towns – John Wilson – Charles Horse – Clay Robinson

Chancey Outcalt – René Pitts

Louis Barnett – Miller Brisker – Donald Walden – Charlie Gabriel

background vocals:
Evelyn Green, – Almeta Latimer – Wyline Ivy


01. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards) 3.03
02. Respect (Redding) 3.15
03. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Goffin/King/Wexler) 4.18
04. I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach/David) 4:31
05. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.10
06. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone (Franklin/White) 4.54
07. Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make It For The Door) (Dawn) 1.53
08. Put On A Happy Face (Adams/Strouse) 2.26
09. A Brand New Me (Gamble/Bell/Butler) 3.04
10. Doctor Feelgood (Franklin/White) 4.36
11. You Send Me (Cooke) 5.23
12. Spirit In The Dark (Franklin) 11.41

Aretha Franklin08


Aretha Franklin07

Aretha Franklin:
25th March 1942 Memphis, Tennessee, USA
16th August 2018 Detroit, Michigan, USA


Wilson Pickett – The Wicked Pickett (1966)

LPFrontCover1Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American singer and songwriter.

A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100. Among his best-known hits are “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), “Land of 1,000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, and “Funky Broadway”.[2]

Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, in recognition of his impact on songwriting and recording. (by wikipedia)

By late 1966 Wilson Pickett had seen plenty of success, having scored three #1 R&B hits. His next big release was a cover of “Mustang Sally”, by fellow singer Mack Rice (whom he had performed with in The Falcons). It was another hit, getting to #6 on the R&B charts and #23 on the pop charts.
His fourth LP was released on the back of the song’s success. It also featured covers of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (which was another Top 20 R&B hit), Gary U.S. Bonds’ “New Orleans”, Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood”, Jerry Ragovoy’s “Time Is On My Side” and several Dan Penn songs. Like all his recordings of that year, it was recorded at Fame Studios in Alabama, and featured among other musicians guitarist Chips Moman, keyboard player Spooner Oldham and drummer Roger Hawkins. The result was another great album of raw and funky southern soul.


A fabulous album, done when Pickett was in the midst of his best period at Atlantic. It had everything — great songs, wonderful production and arrangements, and a hungry, galvanizing Wilson Pickett hollering, screaming, shouting, and soaring on anything he covered, from ballads to uptempo dance and midtempo wailers. It also has been deleted at present. (by Ron Wynn)


Alternate front + back cover from Japan

Ben Cauley (trumpet)
Charles Chalmers (saxophone)
Tommy Cogbill (bass, guitar)
Caple Gilbert (saxophone)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
Jimmy R. Johnson (guitar)
Eddie Logan (saxophone)
Junior Lowe (bass, guitar)
Gene Miller (trumpet)
Chips Moman (guitar)
Floyd Newman (saxophone)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
Wilson Pickett (vocals)


01. Mustang Sally (Rice) 3.10
02. New Orleans (Guida) 2.34
03. Sunny (Hebb) 3.13
04. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Berns/Wexler/Burke) 2.19
05. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Hill) 2.36
06. She Ain’t Gonna Do Right (Penn/Oldham) 2.18
07. Knock On Wood (Floyd/Cropper) 2.42
08. Time Is On My Side (Jagger/Richards) 2.37
09. Up Tight Good Woman (Penn/Oldham) 2.33
10. You Left The Water Running (Penn/Hall/Franck) 2.31
11. Three Time Loser (Covay/Miller) 2.23
12. Nothing You Can Do (Womack) 2.13




Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006)

Clydie King – Direct Me (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgClydie King (born August 21, 1943, Texas) is an American singer, best known for her session work as a backing vocalist.

Discovered by songwriter Richard Berry, King began her recording career in 1956 with Little Clydie and the Teens; before she was a member of Ray Charles’ Raelettes for three years and contributed to early 1960s recordings by producer Phil Spector. She recorded solo singles for Specialty Records, Kent Records and others.

King provided backing vocals for Humble Pie, which had great success in the United States, and she went on to become an in-demand session singer, worked with Venetta Fields and Sherlie Matthews and recorded with B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Cocker, Dickey Betts, Joe Walsh, and many others.

She was a member of The Blackberries with Fields and Matthews and sang on Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, which became a feature film.

In 1971 she was featured on the Beaver and Krause album Gandarva. She sang the lead vocal on the gospel-inflected “Walkin’ By the River.” Ray Brown played bass on the cut.

Along with Merry Clayton, she sang the background vocals on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s seminal hit “Sweet Home Alabama”. (by wikipedia)


Over the years King had worked with both Vennetta Fields and Sherlie Matthews. They’d done sessions work together in various combinations and Matthews co-wrote a song King had recorded (‘My Love Grows Deeper’). In 1968 Matthews approached Fields and King with a proposal that they join forces. The original intent was they serve as an independent entity, singing, writing, arranging, and producing their own material. They approach Motown which agreed to sign them and as The Blackberries (a nod to their cultural heritge and new boss Berry Gordy), began working, appearing on scores of Motown and outside projects.

And that gets you to 1971 and King’s first album. I’d love to know the marketing and politics behind 1971’s “Direct Me” – How did King get hooked up with hard rock producer Gabriel Mekler? How did she get signed to Mekler’s short-lived Lizard label? Why wasn’t this album credited as a Blackerries release? I could speculate on the reasons (I’m sure i t had nothign to do with her slinky good looks), but I’m sure someone out there knows and perhaps they’ll take the time to share their knowledge …

Unfortunately, nothing on the album line notes answers those earlier questions – “Clydie King. Does the name sound familiar? It should. When she was eight years old, Art Linkletter called her “the next Marian Anderson.” But that’s not really where it’s at. Clydie has sung with almost every major artist in the pop field – from Dean Martin to B.B King to Crosby, Stills & Nash to the Beatles. And her voice has been heard in the background of well over 500 albums. And that’s not where it’s at either. If her face looks familiar, that shouldn’t come as any surprise; she has appeared on every major television variety show including Ed Sullivan, Kraft Music Hall, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Red Skelton, and several appearances on Hollywood Palace with Sammy Davis. But that’s only part of the story. Clydie also spent three years with Ray Charles as one of the Raelets (sic) getting it all together and then finally stepping out for duets with the master. But where it’s really at is right here – ten songs – some written especially for her – that give Clydie King an opportunity to stand alone, a major new talent doing her own thing for the first time.”


As mentioned, released on the small Lizard label, 1971’s “Direct Me” teamed King with producer Gabriel Mekler and an impressive roster of studio talent, including long-time friend Billy Preston (King and Preston had known each other since they were children). Musically the set was quite diverse and thoroughly enjoyable, serving to showcase King’s amazing and flexible voice. Listening to these ten tracks it was easy to see why King was such an in-demand back-up singer. Blues (‘I Can’t Go On Without Love’), hardcore soul (‘Direct Me’), funk (‘You Need Love Like I Do’), pop ballads (‘B Minor’), and even rock (”Bout Love’), King was capable of handling it all. With some wonderful arrangements from William Allen (who also provided percussion throughout the album), King made this sound effortless. Interestingly, judging by the two Mekler originals (‘B Minor’ and ‘First Time, last Time’), the producer apparently envisioned casting King as a pop star. And that hints at the album’s main shortcoming. The ten tracks are so diverse you never get a feel for who King was. Mind you, she handled it all with grace and style, but the album’s very diversity made it hard to get a handle on King and probably didn’t help sales. And that encapsulates the albunm’s biggest problems – for soul fans King was probably too rock oriented for comfort, while for rock fans she was too soulful. How do you get out of such a corner ?

Written by bassist Bob West, ”Bout Love’ was a wonderful, up-tempo track that managed to find a sweet spot between rock and soul. If you’ve ever wondered what Diana Ross would have sounded like if she’d really cut lose on a rock song, this is a good place to start. The track was also tapped as the second single.

Co-written by Delaney Bramlett and Carl Radle, ‘There’s A Long Road Ahead’ sounded like a strong Delaney and Bonnie track – blue-eyed soul performed by one of the most soulful singers I’ve ever heard. Great tune with a funky, muscle shoals-styled feel. The rest of The Blackeberries simply kill on this one.


– For a guy known for his work with the like of Steppenwolf, I have to admit being surprised at how pretty the Gabriel Mekler-penned ‘B Minor’ was. Easily the album’s prettiest song and would have sounded great on the radio … Not sure if King’s vocal was multi-tracked, or if that was Venetta Fields and Shirley Matthews (the other two members of The Blackberries) sharing lead vocals.

‘You Need Love Like I Do’ found King and the Blackberries literally slashing their way through one of the best early ’70s slices of hard core soul I’ve ever heard. Seriously, try sitting still through this one … even by eight year old dances when I play this one.

While it wasn’t bad and served to underscore King’s higher vocal registers, her heavily orchestrated cover of The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ just didn’t match up to the rest of side one.

So how could you go wrong with an Otis Redding and Steve Cropper composition ? Well, you can, but King doesn’t, trotting out her rawest, throatiest voice to turn in a killer take on ‘Direct Me’. The woman literally sounded like she gargled with a cup of nails. Great tune.

Written by Shirley Matthews and previous recorded by The Mirettes (it was also released as a single), ‘Ain’t My Stuff Good Enough for You?’ was another track that sounded like a full fledged Blackberries effort (love their backing vocals on this one).

The second Mekler original, ‘First Time, Last Time’ was another sweet pop ballad. To my ears if almost had an early-’60s girl group feel that was old fashioned, quaint, and lovely.

King’s blazing cover of Booker T.’s ‘Never Like This Before’ placed her right back in Stax soul territory. With Fields and Matthews chirping along in the background, this was simply wonderful with a gigantic amount of commercial potential, which is probably why it was tapped as the lead-off single.

Much to my surprise, the bluesy closer ‘I Can’t Go On Without Love’ was also one of my personal favorites. Kicked along by Billy Preston’s keyboards and David T. Walker’s lead guitar, King turned in a dazzling. (by


William Allen (percussion)
Sandra Crouch (percussion)
Sonny Fortune (reeds)
Paul Humphrey (drums)
Clydie King (vocals)
Billy Preston (keyboards)
David T. Walker (guitar)
Bob West (bass)
The Blackberries (background vocals)


01. Direct Me (Cropper/Redding) 2.26
02. Ain’t My Stuff Good Enough? (Matthews) 2.41
03. First Time, Last Time (Mekler) 2.14
04. Never Like This Before (Jones/Hayes/Porter) 2.49
05. I Can’t Go On Without Love (Williams) 3.22
06. ‘Bout Love (West) 2.58
07. Long Road Ahead (Bramlett/Radle) 3.00
08. B Minor (Mekler/Francen) 2.29
09. You Need Love Like I Do, Don’t You (Whitfield/Strong) 3.14
10. The Long And Winding Road (Lennon/McCartney) 3.23



Curtis Mayfield – Curtis – Live! (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgCurtis/Live! is Curtis Mayfield’s first live album, after leaving The Impressions. Originally released in May 1971 as a double LP on Mayfield’s Curtom label (distributed through Neil Bogart’s Buddah Records), the album’s 16 tracks — along with Mayfield’s interstitial raps on the politics of the day — were recorded at Paul Colby’s 230 seater Bitter End nightclub in New York City. According to John Abbey, who at the beginning of the 1970s was editor of the UK magazine Blues & Soul, Mayfield and his band’s first set at a Bitter End date in January 1971 comprised the bulk of the music presented here. (by wikipedia)

Curtis/Live! is, simply, one of the greatest concert albums ever cut on a soul artist, and one of the legendary live albums of all time. Cut in January of 1971 during four nights at The Bitter End (then Greenwich Village’s leading music venue) in New York, the resulting double LP transcended any expectations in both its programming and execution — Mayfield performed numbers off of the Curtis album (“[Don’t Worry] If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going to Go”), as well as exciting and urgent new versions of songs originally performed by the Impressions (“We’re a Winner,” “People Get Ready,” “Gypsy Woman”), plus a very moving R&B version of “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

Curtis Mayfield

This is all beautifully stripped-down work by a quintet consisting of Mayfield (vocals, guitar), Craig McMullen (guitar), Tyrone McCullen (drums), “Master” Henry Gibson (percussion), and Joseph “Lucky” Scott (bass) — a solid, intense performance, with quietly elegant guitar playing against a rock-solid rhythm section, as Impressions hits are rethought and reconfigured in a new context, and Mayfield’s early solo repertory comes to life in newer, longer live versions. (by Bruce Eder)


Henry Gibson (percussion)
Curtis Mayfield (guitar, vocals)
Craig McMullen (guitar)
Tyrone McCullen (drums)
Joseph “Lucky” Scott (bass)


01. Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey) (Mayfield) 6.56
02. Rap I (Mayfield 0.27
03. I Plan To Stay A Believer (Mayfield) 3.18
04. We’re A Winner (Mayfield) 4-51
05. Rap II (Mayfield)  0.43
06. We’ve Only Just Begun (Williams/Nichols) 3.50
07. People Get Ready (Mayfield) 3.47
08. Rap III (Mayfield) 0.32
09. Stare And Stare (Mayfield)
10. Check Out Your Mind (Mayfield) 3.50
11. Gypsy Woman (Mayfield) 3.49
12. The Makings Of You (Mayfield) 3.27
13. Rap IV (Mayfield) 1.58
14. We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue (Mayfield) 6.51
15. (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go (Mayfield) 9.32
16. Stone Junkie (Mayfield) 7.48



Esther Phillips – Performance (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgThe decades-long battle with drug addiction, which ultimately led to her untimely demise, contributed to vocalist Esther Phillips’ status as a tragic second-tier figure in the larger annals of popular music history, but her music itself was often a triumph of soul-stirring ecstasy. By the time Phillips arrived at CTI’s sister label, Kudu Records, her early career hits—made under the name “Little Esther”—were a distant memory. A string of albums for Atlantic Records in the late ’60s helped bring her back into the spotlight, but she truly found her home under the auspices of the venerable Creed Taylor.
Her first album on Kudu, From A Whisper To A Scream (1972), contained a semi-autobiographical performance of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home Is Where The Hatred Is,” which earned Phillips her second of four Grammy nominations and the respect of her peers, but it also signaled the start of her most prolific period of recording. While at Kudu, the singer recorded eight albums, cementing her reputation as a vocalist par excellence and establishing her as the Kudu queen of blues, soul and R&B.
Any one of Phillips’ albums would have been a nice addition to CTI Masterworks’ fortieth anniversary feast, but the powers-that-be decided to honor her by reissuing her fourth album on the label—1974’s underrated Performance. While the personnel list presents an imposing roster of jazz heavyweights, the jazz influences themselves are suppressed in favor of a soul-heavy sound. Notable solos still find their way into the mix, including tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker’s extended run on “Disposable Society” and guitarist Jon Sholle’s solo spot on “I Feel The Same,” but they’re rare. Instead, the music is used as it should: to showcase Phillips’ voice.

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Phillips knew how to establish herself when placed in a funky musical environment, whether gritty and urban (“Disposable Society”) or friendlier and fun (“Doing Our Thing”), but goes beyond this area on tracks like “Performance,” an R&B number with a gospel feel that’s augmented by some countrified steel guitar from Eric Weissberg, and “Such A Night,” which features some tack piano work from Richard Tee.
While the CTI Masterworks reissue campaign is largely a celebration of albums that have always been celebrated, the final wave—along with Performance, including efforts from saxophonist Hank Crawford, and organists Lonnie Smith and Johnny Hammond—is all about admiring the wrongfully overlooked and giving kudos to Kudu. (by Dan Bilawsky)

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Pepper Adams (saxophone)
Mike Brecker (saxophone)
Charlie Brown (guitar)
Jerry Dodgion (saxophone)
Pee Wee Ellis (chimes)
Jon Faddis (trumpet, flugelhorn)
John Gatchell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Gary King (bass)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Ralph McDonald (percussion)
Esther Phillips (vocals)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Richard Wyands (piano)
Gordon Edwards (bass on 03.)
Steve Gadd (drums on 04. + 05.)
Bob James (piano on 04. + 05.)
Richie Resnicoff (guitar on 04. + 05.)
Jon Sholle (guitar on 01. + 07.)
Richard Tee (piano on 03. , 06 + 07., organ on 05.)
Eric Weissberg (steel guitar on 02.)
background vocals:
Patti Austin -Lani Groves -J. Denise Williams – Carl Caldwell – Robin Clark – Tasha Thomas
Max Ellen – Paul Gershman – Emmanuel Green – Charles Libove – Harry Lookofsky -David Nadien – Matthew Raimondi – Manny Vardi – violin, viola
Manny Vardi – Al Brown – Harold Coletta – viola
Charles McCracken – George Ricci


01. I Feel The Same (Smither) 8.27
02. Performance (Toussaint) 5.28
03. Doing Our Thing (Carter/Lee(McCants) 3.36
04. Disposable Society (McDaniels) 5.22
05. Living Alone (We’re Gonna Make It) (Lynn/Barnes/Pandarvis) 5.20
06. Such A Night (Rebennack) 3.25
07. Can’t Trust Your Neighbor With Your Baby (Hayes/Porter) 3.55
08. Mr. Bojangles (Walker) 4.10




Ester Philipps01

Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984)
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California, in 1984, at the age of 48, from liver and kidney failure due to long-term drug abuse

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. (

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