James Brown is arguably the most influential figure in Black Music history, given that he was a major innovator in, first, Soul music and then Funk, before he was sampled out of sight (pun intended) by later artists, who needed the groove and couldn't get it on their own.
Early material on disc 1 includes a huge variety of Soul, uptempo dancers to aching Ballads, with the odd instrumental thrown in. Those instrumentals show how the groove would develop, and by disc 2 you get the track which is said to have started the Funk, "Cold Sweat". From there it's all a funk groove, relentless and amazingly inventive.
By the end of Disc 2 we've seen Brown get political on "Say It Loud.." and Bootsie and co have arrived to take the Funk to new heights. Disc 3 stands as a testament to JB and his ability to find and get the best out of his band(s), and you can hear him doing it ("give the drummer some", "keep it right there" etc).
In the mid 70's (Disc 4), JB was enduring something of a commercial low point, but this did not stop him producing great music, and "Payback" and "Stone to the Bone" are the equal of anything he ever did IMHO.
This is a superb chronicle of the man and his music and should be part of the collection of anyone interested in Soul or Funk, or indeed where the music we hear today came from.