James Brown: David Redfern / Redferns / Retna Ltd.

Soul on Top

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July 30, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

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.

Soul on Top

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Soul on Top

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