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Monday, February 21, 2011

James Brown - Switzerland 1973

I'm still deeply into James Brown's music, proceeding roughly chronologically (but so far without also playing the Hip-O-Select 2CD sets compiling all the Singles... Vols. 1, 2, and 5 are far gone, Vol. 6 has been around and several of the others shall be here soon, too). Some listening protocols and stuff will be published on my new blog (in German only, sorry) over here:

Anyway, I've arrived at the 1971-75 period recently and yesterday, it was all 1973. There's a pretty good live set around that seems to be from early 1973 - Brown embarked on a five week European tour within days after recording "Mind Power" for the album The Payback). The stage announcer also mentions an exclusive concert by José Feliciano coming up on March 30 in Lausanne... so my best guess for this is: poss. Lausanne (Switzerland), February/March 1973.

The line-up is taken from what I heard... Maceo, Fred, St. Clair, Nolen and the two funky divas are announced, the rest is guesswork on my part. Thomas, Starks and the trumpet players were around at that time - and I do think there are three trumpets audible in CD1#6 during those fanfare kinds of thing they play there.
The mystery remains if there's a third sax player or not... in "Shaft", Maceo's on flute and there's a tenor and baritone (? or two tenors ?) audible. Maceo to my knowledge never played tenor with Brown at that time, so Eldee Williams (who was present on some sessions in that time) would be my best guess - but I'm really not sure there!

If you have any additional information to add, please do let me know! I'd also like to know the two unknown tunes in the opening J.B.'s set!

The band here isn't as exciting as it was at the time of the Paris concert in 1967 - Brown had the Collins brothers and their exciting rough bred of youngsters pushing the funk to its limits for a year in 1970/71, but by early 1971, they had defected as well and were soon to take a ride on George Clinton's spaceship. Brown hurriedly had Fred Wesley put together a new band, which included loyalists St. Clair Pinckney and "Jabo" Starks. Wesley simplified the music, put together tight grooves that were very effective and fun to hear, yet were adapted to the abilities of the new band. By late 1972 they got a major rhythmic push by Jimmy Nolen returning on guitar, and in early 1973, finally, another fine horn soloist was added: returning star Maceo Parker!

We hear the J.B.'s at that point - with Lyn Collins (ably supported by Martha Harvin aka Martha High) doing some very mean funky songs towards the end of the opening set. The J.B.'s are putting on a mighty fine show here though, playing some of their own hits like "Pass the Peas" and having their go at Isaac Hayes classic theme from "Shaft". Lyn Collins' features then are the icing on the cake!

The Startime set is alas cut short, and as I hear it, things only fully gel in "Sex Machine", while before, it's good but not great. The final few cuts are great though, and the ten minutes of "Sex Machine" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" are the highlight of the whole set, to me!

James Brown and The J.B.'s
Avalanche Of Funk (liberated boot)
Switzerland (poss. Lausanne)
1973 (prob. February/March)

James Brown - vocals, organ, drums
prob. Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison, prob. Isiah "Ike" Oakley & prob. Jerone "Jasaan" Sanford - trumpet
Fred Wesley - trombone
Maceo Parker - alto sax, flute
St. Clair Pinckney - tenor sax (& baritone sax?)
poss. Eldee Williams - tenor sax
Jimmy Nolen & prob. Hearlon "Cheese" Martin - guitar
prob. Fred Thomas - bass
prob. John "Jabo" Starks - drums
prob. John Morgan or Johnny Griggs - percussion
Lyn Collins, Martha High - vocals
Danny Ray - MC

CD1/49:23 - THE J.B.'S
01. Intro (1:06)
02. Backstabbers (4:43)
03. Hot Pants Road (3:04)
04. Theme from "Shaft" (3:27)
05. instrumental (4:18)
06. instrumental (3:40)
07. Pass the Peas (6:14)
08. Parrty (5:51)
09. Me & Mrs. Jones (1:51) [Maceo Parker, vocals]
10. I'll Take You There (2:59)
11. Never Gonna Give You Up (3:05)
12. Do Your Thing (4:39)
13. Think (4:20)

01. Intro (1:19)
02. Get On the Good Foot (3:48)
03. Soul Power (4:22)
04. Make It Funky (4:25)
05. Bewildered (8:04)
06. Super Bad (5:51)
07. Try Me (3:51)
08. Hot Pants (2:23)
09. Sex Machine (7:23)
10. I've Got a Brand New Bag of My Own (3:00)
11. It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World (2:42)
12. Please Please Please (2:06)
13. I Can't Stand Myself (1:21)
14. Cold Sweat (1:38) [inc]

TT: 101:41

Sound: A-
Source: SBD

A complete recording of a 1973 James Brown Show/Revue concert including the full JB's opening set. I have not listened to this in quite a while... It was nice to kick back and check this show out. The band is tight!
The CD's I obtained was released by Big Fro Discs

:: ubu notes ::

In the Intro on CD1, an upcoming event (Jose Feliciano) for March 30th is mentioned, and Brown was on tour in Europe for five weeks beginning early February 1973 (see Alan Leeds' liners to the CD reissue of "The Payback")
First time that JB plays in Switzerland
Martha High is announced with her birthname as Martha Harvin
Not sure about Eldee Williams, but I seem to hear ts and bari during "Shaft", while Maceo is on flute there (and never seems to have played ts with Brown at this time anyway).
Also not sure about the number of trumpet players - the three listed were the regulars in studio sessions of the time - but ther may be only two present, but there are parts (for instance in CD1#6) where there seem to be three audible.


ubu said...

Links will follow soon - but for those who prefer it that way, this is also still running on dime:

ubu said...

RS links:

As the checksums from dime don't seem to work, here's three new ones - put them into the respective folders to run them:

ubu said...

Sendspace Links:

again the checksums: