on 25 September 2001
Essential. If like me you prefer your JB in the producers chair, you'll love this. JB gets those lady's singing like angels and unlike the monster hits, there's stuff here you woun't tire of for a long long time. Funky People volume 2 is definatly my favorite so far, & I'm looking forward to number 4.
The premise of this album and the two volumes that came before is to present work by the backing band and musicians associated with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Now that may sound like a strange idea - removing the main talent from the picture, but it works magnificently. Having said that, this volume opens with a James Brown vocal track - an alternative version of Talking Loud and Saying Nothing, from the album In The Jungle Groove. This is the only time James sings a number in all three volumes, but his fingerprints remain all over the music. There are instrumental grooves by the JBs and funky vocal performances by the likes of Hank Ballard, Lyn Collins, Bobby Byrd and Marva Whitney. One track is credited to AABB (which stood for Above Average Black Band) a riposte to the heavily Brown influenced Average White Band and their massive hit Pick Up The Pieces.
The period is early to mid 1970s - so we are in prime funk territory here. Clearly something of a dictator, JB nevertheless saw himself at the centre of a musical community and its great to hear some of its other citizens get the credit they deserve.
For me this is not quite as fabulous as volume 2 but it is still a very fine selection of stonking funk.