I know, it’s been awhile since my last post. Partly, the real world has gotten in the way (read as, making sure I pay my rent). But I’ve also been playing a lot of gigs, and working on getting a piece of paper that says I can do stuff (read as, working on my degree). But I’ve now freed up, which means I can focus much more time on music, and writing about music.
This has come at just the right time having just picked up what would have to be two of the funkiest releases of year.
The first is from the J.B.’s titled These are The J.B.’s. That’s right, The J.B.’s have a new release! And I’m not talking about just any J.B.’s lineup, this is the short lived and infamous one featuring Bootsy and Catfish Collins on bass and guitar. The tracks were recorded between May and September 1970 and scheduled for release in July 1971. But other than a couple of test pressing, for reasons only fully known to James Brown, the album never ended up being released…until now!
This album is just what you’d expect from this J.B.’s lineup; funky, funky, and funky! Each track has the relentless grooves that you’d expect with the Booty’s bass sitting front and centre and arrangement that are the tight and punchy sounds that the discipline of James Brown produced. If you love James Brown, and/or the J.B.’s, then you need this album – but you need to get in quick. Pressings are apparently very limited, and word on the street is that there was only a total of 80 copies distributed to Australia, and they’ve already been sold.
The next release sitting on my turntables is from Melbourne’s own Emma Donovan w/The Putbacks titled, Dawn. I’ve normally associated The Putbacks with deep funk, but this defiantly a neo-soul album. The slug from the drum and bass thirty seconds into track 1, Black Woman, has neo-soul written all over it. Combined with the harmonic movements in tracks such as Dawn, and Emma Donovan’s sultry vocals, and you have record that is sophisticated without being pretentious. This is a record that is layered with subtle detail and certainly deserves more than a few plays.