Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Papa's Got A Brand New (Body) Bag.

When I heard that James Brown had died, I knew I wanted to put something here. He passed away this weekend, in Atlanta, where we happen to be. There was a brief bit on the local news Friday night that he was hospitalized with pneumonia, had cancelled two appearances, but was ready to go on New Year's Eve at BB King's in New York. So when word came the next day that he'd died, I was surprised.
This ends a long, turbulent career for one of the most, if not the most influential musicians, and showmen, of our generation.
Jody Rosen, in this article on pretty much sums it up:

"But Brown's achievement is larger than his own oeuvre and the genres that it begat. Flip on the radio virtually anywhere on earth today, and you will hear the sound of the Brown Revolution, the blare of propulsive, polyrhythmic dance music. Beats have conquered the world, even the West, where polyphony was born and melody and harmony have traditionally held sway. No other musician—not Louis Armstrong, not Elvis Presley, not Bob Dylan—can claim so central a role in this momentous cultural shift. "Make It Funky," James commanded, and from Boise to Berlin to Bangkok, they have." RTWT.
It hardly seems proper to say Rest In Peace for Soul Brother #1, so how about:
R.I.F. (Rest In Funk) Take it to the Bridge! Hey!!

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