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Gettin' Down To It Original recording reissued
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Top Customer Reviews
Last year Verve gave us "Soul On Top" - ofcourse Jazz and Soul, but in a "Big Band" setting. Here...a small band. And it works.
The highlight is the opener - "Sunny" - with JB harmonizing up a storm with Marva Whitney. This is his only released version (apparently issued on CD only one time before on an Australian collection). The intro. is slow, voices in a whisper; then into the verse with a passion. No screams here...just Soul in a different light. [Not long after this issue, it appears Brown introduced the song as a set-list piece. It's been written that it remains an unissued track from the "Love, Power, Peace" set from '71].
"That's Life" is very subdued compared to the version heard on a couple of 1968 TV Specials; although the two released Apollo versions were more in the "Gettin' Down..." vein. Some nice improvizations on this one. Nothing to return to very often but well worth hearing.
"All The Way" is tremendous. This is perhaps his most *controlled* vocal...ever. On The Louis Bellson album mentioned above there are occasional uncomfortable sudden shifts in the decibel level and the track as a whole suffers. On this cut a great singer gets a chance to stretch and invites the initiated to relax and enjoy the change of pace.Read more ›
The first time I heard of them was when I caught one of my jazz teachers singing a fragment of "Sunny". Seeing my astonished face -I had always thought of it as a soul hit-, he explained me he hat been listening to a recording where James Brown sang jazz classics with the accompaniment of a jazz trio. He didn't tell me anymore, just the impression that hearing Mr Dynamite squeezing his voice in a funky fashion in the middle of a jazz standard produced to him. No title, no more clues... Since then, I've spent four years of my life looking for it -well, maybe it's saying too much. Anytime I entered a record shop I asked unsuccessfully for it. My internet researches were unlucky too. Finally this year I had news about the reedition of "Gettin' Down To It" (1969) and I went for it. But, what a surprise I had when it came across that this wasn't Mr. Brown's only jazz incursion. One year later, in 1970, the Godfather of Soul hadn't had enough jazz and hired a big band to go further in "Soul On Top".
The first thing that draws your attention into the music is how comfortable Brown seems to be in an environment that, anyway is not that strange to him. Used to repetitive rhythms, he moves softly but also firmly along the swinging scales and notes of jazz. Anyway, he can't help rowing to his port, so that some jazz standards become funky exhibitions, especially those supported by the big band.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recorded between December 1968 to March 1969. By the time this album was released (Around May of 1969) James had a #1 Billboard Hit Single with "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose", and... Read morePublished on February 19, 2010 by Mr. Nightshift
This is a very cool project. Mr. Brown is singing a few standards, as well as giving some of his hits a new twist. If you're a fan of the Godfather, you gotta have this!Published on May 27, 2007 by Mark S. Crawford