Chuck Brown

Put Your Hands Up! The Tribute Concert to Chuck Brown

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Recorded live at D.C.'s 9:30 club, this energetic double-disc celebration of go-go music features plenty of funky vamping, call-and-response chants, and party atmosphere. It starts, appropriately enough, with EU 's "Let the Party Begin." EU continues its bass-heavy workout with a cover of "I Want You Back" featuring guest vocalist Maleisha Rashad and several other songs, including their hit "Da Butt," that seamlessly maintain the band's funk-shaking groove. Back Yard and 911 keeps things moving for the rest of the first disc, and the latter band even contributes a five-and-a-half-minute ballad, "Ready for Love." Chuck Brown takes over on the second disc. It's evident from his first track, "Mister Magic," that his sound is somewhat different from the three preceding groups; the inclusion of a trumpeter (Brad Clements), saxophonist (Bryan Mills), and trumbonist (Jim McFalls) in his band gives it more of a jazz-funk feel. Nonetheless, his music fits quite comfortably with the first disc of this album; even his rendition of "Family Stone" fits right into the go-go groove. Granted, this cover version illustrates the limitations of Brown's approach -- it completely lacks the original's sense of tension of drama and tension, which were sacrificed to maintain the go-go grooves -- but it still sounds good. This track is followed by a few more, including "Back Up Against the Wall" featuring Andre "Whiteboy" Johnson, a cover of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On" featuring Little Benny, and a concluding 11-and-a-half-minute medley. This double album provides a good overview of go-go music; it should appeal to fans of the genre, who are probably already familiar with some of the names here, and to newcomers who won't to learn more about it. However, it is a rather long album (the two discs run for a combined total of nearly two hours) and not recommended to people with limited tolerance for repetition, since that it one of the characteristics of the genre.

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