James Brown Plays the Real Thing

James Brown / James Brown & His Famous Flames

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James Brown Plays the Real Thing Review

by Andrew Hamilton

James Brown's new deal with Smash Records gave him the creative freedom to pump out instrumentals as well as vocals. The funky soul singer is as funky an organist as he is a singer. He lays down gritty renditions of popular hits: "Jimmy Mack," "Bernadette," "Funky Broadway," and "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You." He cops a cool groove on Cannonball Adderley's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and a couple of solid originals, such as "Peewee's Groove in D," which showcase saxophonist Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis.