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Article

Soul on Top

Posted on

James Brown
James Brown: David Redfern / Redferns / Retna Ltd.

Soul on Top

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
James Brown
Producers:
Verve

We gave it an A-

This 1969 recording of Soul on Top — James Brown fronting drummer Louis Bellson’s big band — is no novelty. It’s a signpost at the crossroads of jazz and soul. Brown croons ”That’s My Desire” with grace, and his signature screams sound like added horns on a boogaloo version of Hank Williams’ ”Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Five extended tracks, especially ”Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” make this especially thrilling.