Archive for the James BROWN Category

James BROWN – Thinking About LITTLE WILLIE JOHN and Few Nice Things 1968

Posted in BLUES, James BROWN, Little Willie JOHN on December 11, 2010 by whoisthemonk

James BROWN – Thinking About LITTLE WILLIE JOHN and Few Nice Things 1968
King S 1030


Nice rather than great and not a funk album by any means but if you want to hear James rediscover his roots and sing this is for you.
By M. Hoffman.
This is one of James Brown’s finest moments among many fine moments, in a tribute to the great Little Willie John, who died mysteriously in a Walla Walla prison in 1968. The first six songs feature James as a pure torch singer, and the man could sing. A unique performance, it’s a shame that this recording is not currently in release. The second six songs (side B of the LP) are instrumentals featuring James on organ. Would love to know the lineup of this band.
A1. Talk to Me Talk to Me
A2. Suffering With the Blues
A3. Cottage for Sale
A4. Bill Bailey
A5. Home at Last
A6. Heartbreak (It’s Hurting Me)
B1. What Kind of Man
B2. A Note or Two (Part 1)
B3. I’ll Lose My Mind
B4. Fat Eddie
B5. You Gave My Heart a Song to Sing
B6. A Note or Two (Part 2)

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James BROWN – Messing With The Blues 1990

Posted in BLUES, James BROWN on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

James BROWN – Messing With The Blues 1990
Cut between 1957 and 1985, but most of the tracks from the early ’60s
1990 Issue.


Although he is most famous for his innovations in soul and funk music, James Brown never lost sight of his blues and R&B roots. His albums often placed surprisingly rootsy covers of old chestnuts alongside his groundbreaking polyrhythmic workouts. This double CD compiles 30 of the bluesiest items from his vast recorded legacy. Cut between 1957 and 1985, most of the tracks actually date from the ’60s; many of these, in turn, were laid down in the early part of the decade, when J.B. was gradually evolving from his more conventional beginnings. The artists whose songs are covered here read like a who’s who of R&B pioneers: Louis Jordan, Roy Brown, Memphis Slim, Ivory Joe Hunter, Fats Domino, Chuck Willis, Little Willie John, Billy Ward, Guitar Slim, and Bobby Bland. It’s quite an instructive insight into Brown’s not-always-visible roots. It would be fair to say that this does not rank among his most exciting material, finding him in a smoother and more conventional style than his most innovative work. It is nonetheless always entertaining and accomplished, with Brown’s love for this material shining through strongly in his committed interpretations. Especially intriguing are an 11-minute cover of Chuck Willis’ “Don’t Deceive Me” and a two-part, blues-based rap vamp from the early ’70s, “Like It Is, Like It Was (The Blues).” The disc includes several unreleased cuts, alternate takes, and unedited versions of previously released songs.
By Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide.
Just as James Brown sometimes filled out his ’60s and ’70s albums with instrumental band showcases, so did he occasionally therein tip his hat to his sources. Messing With the Blues collects remakes of classic R&B tunes by the likes of Louis Jordan, Roy Brown and Little Willie John. This may not be major JB, but it’s an entertaining set one that reveals a side of the man that both junior funkateers and nouveau-swing followers should pick up on.
By Rickey Wright.
During his lengthy career, James Brown has often paid tribute to his own musical inspirations, jump blues shouters like Wynonie Harris, Bullmoose Jackson and Roy Brown, doo-wop and rhythm and blues groups like Billy Ward and the Dominoes, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and the Five Royales, blues performers like Memphis Slim; and above all, Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five. He also recorded a tribute album to Little Willie John immediately following his death in prison.
These and other items of homage are collected together on these two CDs and are presented in the chronological order in which James Brown would have first experienced the songs. Sandwiched between two chunks of Like It Is, Like It Was, which has James Brown rapping about the blues, the set starts with Erskine Hawkins’ 1942 hit Don’t Cry Baby, and ends with his own answer record to the Five Royales’ Wonder Where Your Love Has Gone from 1959.
Two versions of the much covered Little Willie Littlefield classic Kansas City (originally called KC Lovin’), one from 1967 and one from 1975, clearly show the evolution of the James Brown sound.
Although entirely comprising back catalogue, it would be a mistake for any James Brown aficionado to imagine there could be nothing of interest for them as all but eight of the thirty tracks are previously unissued in the form found here. Two are in true stereo for the first time – 1961’s I Love You Yes I Do and Ivory Joe Hunter’s Waiting In Vain from the following year (only four of the songs on the 2CD are mono). Some are alternative takes, some are full version debuts of songs previously released in edited form or, in the case of Honky Tonk, chopped into two for both sides of a single, by the “James Brown Soul Train”.
Eight tracks with a big band arranged and conducted by Sammy Lowe were recorded in a single New York day in 1964, all included here, including three Louis Jordan covers. Some of these came out on an album called Showtime, on which a fake over-excited audience had been overdubbed, and are presented for the first time in their pristine studio form.
The notes by compiler Cliff White and Harry Weinger are detailed and clear, with recording dates and line-ups and a history of each song.
By  Laurence Upton.
James Brown often paused from his history-making original music to glance back at his influences: jump bandleaders like Louis Jordan, R&B crooners like Little Willie John, Ruth and Roy Brown, vocal groups like labelmates The Five Royales and Billy Ward’s Dominoes.
20 years of that tribute is featured on “Messing With The Blues” which features larger, more disciplined arrangements and (for JB) singing that you hear on spontaneous combustions like “Cold Sweat.” Brown all-out attacks Louis Jordan’s sly “Caledonia” and “Ain’t Nobody Here,” punctuating the end with thrilling, ear-piercing screams. He goes over-the-top, half-singing, half-crying the Dominoes’ “The Bells.” “Everyday I Have The Blues” and “Farther Up The Road” vocally transcend BB King’s and Bobby Bland’s great versions. “Talk To Me,” and “Suffering With The Blues,” recorded after Little Willie John’s death in 1968, express John’s early influence on Brown and the sorrow JB felt over his loss. (A commercial promoting that album is included for curiousity.)

The song that introduces and closes this album, “Like It Is, Like It Was,” explains why JB needed to cover these songs despite their lesser chart performances. Surrounded by his second great band, JB sorrowfully describes his childhood, pays tribute to modern R&B bluesmen and wishes again to touch his musical and family roots. “New York’s OK,” he sings, “but I want to go home!” He spends most of the songs in these discs beautifully proving and achieving that goal. A highly recommended, underrated James Brown collection.
By Anthony G. Pizza.
01. Like It Is, Like It Was (The Blues)  4:57
02. Don’t Cry Baby  2:59
03. Caldonia  2:53
04. Somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Door  3:37
05. Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens  2:57
06. Good Rockin’ Tonight  2:36
07. I Love You, Yes I Do  2:46
08. Messing With The Blues  2:09
09. Waiting In Vain  2:46
Backing Band – The Famous Flames
10. For You My Love  2:17
11. Blues For My Baby  3:00
12. Every Day I Have The Blues  4:28
Backing Band – Louie Bellson Orchestra
Composed By – Memphis Slim
13. Love Don’t Love Nobody  0:48
14. Love Don’t Love Nobody  2:03
15. GoIn’ Home  5:03
16. Have Mercy Baby  2:13
17. Kansas City  3:22
18. The Bells  3:37

01. Don’t Deceive Me (Please Don’t Go)  11:40
02. The ThIngs That I Used To Do  2:47
Composed By – Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones
03. Need Your Love So Bad  3:26
Composed By – Little Willie John
04. Like A Baby  2:52
05. Honky Tonk, Pts. 1 & 2  6:08
06. SufferIng With The Blues  3:05
07. Further On Up The Road  3:45
Backing Band – J.B.’s, The
08. Radio Spot  1:03
09. Talk To Me, Talk To Me  3:27
10. Kansas City [’75]  7:48
Backing Band – J.B.’s, The
11. Wonder When You’re ComIng Home  2:34
Backing Band – Famous Flames, The*
12. Like It Is, Like It Was (The Blues, Continued)  6:31

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