Soul on Top

Soul on Top

by James Brown
     
 

If Count Basie had hired James Brown to replace Joe Williams as his featured male vocalist, what would the results have sounded like? Brown offers some suggestions on Soul on Top, which finds the Godfather of Soul making an intriguing detour into jazz-minded big-band territory. Recorded in 1969 and reissued on CD in 2004, See more details below

Overview

If Count Basie had hired James Brown to replace Joe Williams as his featured male vocalist, what would the results have sounded like? Brown offers some suggestions on Soul on Top, which finds the Godfather of Soul making an intriguing detour into jazz-minded big-band territory. Recorded in 1969 and reissued on CD in 2004, Soul on Top unites Brown with the Basie-influenced orchestra of jazz drummer Louie Bellson -- and stylistically, the results are somewhere between soul-funk and the funkier side of big-band jazz. This Brown/Bellson collaboration isn't straight-ahead jazz; nor is it typical of Brown's late-'60s output. But if recording a big-band project with Bellson was a surprising and unexpected thing for the Godfather of Soul to do in 1969, it was hardly illogical or bizarre -- Brown, after all, grew up listening to jazz (as well as blues and gospel) and was well aware of the legacies of Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and others. Besides, jazz and R&B are closely related. While some jazz snobs would have listeners believe that jazz and R&B have little if anything in common, the fact is that they're close relatives that get much of their energy and feeling from the blues. So it makes perfect sense for Brown to combine soul, funk, and jazz on this album, which finds him revisiting some major hits (including "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World") in addition to embracing "September Song," "That's My Desire," and other standards that one typically associates with jazz and traditional pop. Although not among the Godfather's better-known efforts, this fine album is happily recommended to anyone who holds R&B and jazz in equally high regard.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2004
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0602498617182
catalogNumber:
000197802
Rank:
111110

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Brown   Primary Artist,Vocals
Louie Bellson   Drums
Pete Christlieb   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Cleveland   Trombone
Buddy Collette   Tenor Saxophone
Oliver Nelson   Conductor
Jimmy Mulidore   Baritone Saxophone
Maceo Parker   Tenor Saxophone
Aarons   Trumpet
Jack Arnold   Percussion
John Audino   Trumpet
Ray Brown   Bass
Nick Dimaio   Trombone
Bill Pitman   Guitar
Tommy Porello   Trumpet
Joe Romano   Alto Saxophone
Kenny Shroyer   Trombone
Ernie Watts   Alto Saxophone
Chuck Finley   Trumpet
Louis Shelton   Guitar
Bill Tole   Trombone
Frank Vincent   Piano
James H. Brown   Vocals

Technical Credits

Memphis Slim   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
James Brown   Composer
Louie Bellson   Composer
Leonard Feather   Liner Notes
Oliver Nelson   Arranger
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Ron Miller   Composer
Francis Davis   Liner Notes
Bob Irwin   Mastering
Hollis King   Art Direction
Bud Hobgood   Composer
Dan Quest   Cover Photo
Maxwell Anderson   Composer
Orlando Murden   Composer
Carroll Loveday   Composer
Bryan Koniarz   Producer
Betty Jean Newsome   Composer
Ken Druker   Executive Producer
Stephanie Stein Crease   Notes Editing
Helmy Kressa   Composer
James H. Brown   Liner Notes,Author

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