Monday, December 25, 2006

JAMES BROWN, DEAD AT 73

It had to happen eventually, we just didn't know when or exactly how: James Brown is dead from complications related-to pneumonia, a heart-attack. Now you can finally rest, Godfather of Soul. My favorites: Lickin' Stick (1968), Stay in School (1967), Say it Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud) (1969), Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine (1970), Pass the Peas (1972), and nearly everything from 1956-1976. From 1966-1969, James invented a new form of music: funk. He'd already done it with Soul. How many artists invent two-genres? There is almost nobody alive who is as influential as James Brown was to music, he's global baby. That's a pretty good epitaph for any musician and composer. There will always be funk, and James Brown (and his bands, especially Jabo Starks & Phelps "Catfish" Collins) invented it. I know, we all thought it would be from drugs, but these things happen. He beat the odds his whole-life. Sleep well.