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    James Brown

    James Brown concert at Newport Jazz Festival on 06 Jul 69

    James Brown concert at Newport Jazz Festival on 06 Jul 69

    Artist:James Brown

    Type:Live, Live Concert, Downloads, R&B Downloads, James Brown Downloads, R&B concert, R&B music

    Store:Wolfgang's Vault




    The jazz police had a field day with the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival, which marked George Wein's blatant capitulation to the burgeoning rock market. While the usual names like Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Phil Woods, Charles Mingus and Anita O'Day were on hand to represent the jazz contingent, a whole host of arena rock bands were booked for the annual summer bash in Rhode Island. In its coverage that year, Down Beat ran the cover line: "Big Crowds, Bad Vibes." And in his report on the festival, respected jazz writer Ira Gitler referred to the whole affair as "the Newport Jive Festival." As he wrote: "George Wein started out as a jazz person but now seems to have become a festival producer rather than a jazz producer." Gitler dismissed headliners like Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention ("a contemporary vaudeville show") and Led Zeppelin ("a lead balloon") as well as John Mayall, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck and Sly Stone. Gitler's colleague Dan Morgenstern also had little use for the rock acts, though he was considerably kinder to James Brown. As he wrote: "This was the most professional presentation of the festival, running smoothly from start to finish." Indeed, it was the James Brown Show, a classy production replete with opening act (the Dee Felice piano trio), polished choreography, comedic relief (in the form of Nipsey Russell) and a dynamic, tightly-executed set in which the Hardest Working Man in Show Business trotted out hit after hit. The James Brown Band warms up the stage with three instrumentals that highlight the tight two-guitar interplay of Jimmy Nolen's agile, syncopated single-note lines and Alphonso "Country" Kellum's steady rhythm playing along with the urgent, soulful blowing of tenor saxophonist Maceo Parker, Brown's right-hand man since 1964. On the third piece, the group reveals a decided jazz influence by covering Duke Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," which gives baritone saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney a chance to stretch out. Following a resplendent introduction ("Now???here's the star of the show!!"), Brown enters and immediately launches into a rousing rendition of "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," his hit single from 1968. In such a politically-charged climate - Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated the previous year and Black Power was on the rise - this anthemic tune infused an entire race with a sense of pride that had been lacking. Shifting gears from churning funk to sublime ballad, Brown and company settle into a heartfelt rendition of "If I Ruled the World," another hit single from 1968 that showcases the expressive power of the Godfather's impassioned vocals. Without missing a beat, they segue neatly into a rousing, hard-driving shuffle version of "Kansas City," which Brown had released as a single in 1967. As he leaves the stage, announcer Bobby Byrd informs the Newport audience, "Keep in mind that the star of the show will be back." During the break, come

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