The J.B.'s

Bring the Funk on Down

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No fan of classic funk (or of the "rare groove" school of dance music) will be able to look at this album without starting to drool -- the period-piece cover art; the Jimmy Walker hats and bell-bottoms; and the presence of such magic names as Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Byrd, and Clyde Stubblefield (not to mention the insanely funky bassist Bootsie Collins, who is better known as a charter member of Parliament/Funkadelic but is also a J.B.'s alumnus) -- all of it will lead the perceptive groovehound to anticipate an hour or so of irresistibly booty-shaking funk. And that's exactly what you get: no frills, no synthesizers, basically no acknowledgement of change in the pop music world. From the greasy "Do the Doo" to the CD bonus track, "Mistakes and All," which ends the program, Bring the Funk on Down delivers almost nothing but hardcore, horn-heavy old-school funk (with a couple of brief and uninspiring excursions into ballad territory, another James Brown tradition). Highlights include the slowly simmering title track and the archetypal "Born to Groove," but the album is really pretty consistent. The only downside is the absence of Maceo Parker, who plays only on the final track. Highly recommended.

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