Various Artists

People Get Up: Original House Party Funk & Get Down Jazz

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In 1970 R&B and soul was developing into funk, but the synthesizer sounds of P-Funk were still in the future. People Get Up is a compilation of songs which all appeared in one single radio show by Jerry McRuth in March 1970. The subtitle is "Original House Party Funk & Get Down Jazz" and the album is filled with almost only up-tempo songs and energetic solos. It's wave your hands in the air and dance like a maniac music, with good beats. Maybe it's a bit too intense for using as background music at home, but that is hardly its purpose. But it is not funk. Or rather, the only pure funk song included is James Brown's 12-minute "Make It Funky"; instead, much of the rest is high-energy R&B with a New Orleans feel, meaning blasting horns and organs. The melodies have not yet been swallowed up, and like in James Duncan's "I Got It Made (In the Shade)" the gritty guitars often have heavy reverb. This album can serve as a party record, and will do so with honor. Read the transcription of Jerry McRuth's introduction to the program, included in the booklet, and your mood will rise. So even more when you hear the hilarious "I'm Mister Big Stuff" by Jimmy Hicks, an answer to Jean Knight's similarly named song. If you don't feel like partying, see it as a document of the time when funk was just about to take over.

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