James Brown: Itís A Manís, Man's, Manís World


Itís A Manís, ManĻs, Manís World


James Brown (vocals, composer)


Soul On Top (Verve 0602498617182 )

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James Brown (vocals, composer), Ray Brown (electric bass), Louis Bellson (drums).

John Audino, Al Aarons, Chuck Findley, Tom Porello (trumpet); Nick DiMaio, Kenny Shroyer, Jimmy Cleveland, Bill Tole (trombone); Ernie Watts, Joe Romano (alto saxophone); Maceo Parker, Buddy Collette, Peter Christlieb (tenor saxophone); Jim Mulidore (baritone saxophone); Frank Vincent (piano); Bill Pittman, Louis Shelton (guitar); Jack Arnold (percussion)


Recorded: Los Angeles, November 10, 1969


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Not many people know that Ray Brown was actually a very good electric bass player. He adapted to the smaller instrument much quicker and, frankly, I think, much better than anyone else coming from the golden era of jazz. You can tell from the way heís playing on "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World" that thereís a certain comfort level with his technique, thereís a comfort level in conceptóbecause heís not playing ďjazzyĒ basslines. Heís playing real R&B-soul-style bass. Heís playing like James Jamerson almost. For that reason, I was always surprised that Ray never played more electric bass. I would always ask him, ďRay, how come you donít play electric bass no more?Ē He said, ďNah, I never liked it.Ē I said, ďThatís hard to believe considering how good you sounded on it.Ē Ray was right in the pocket. Very fun to hear him play with James Brown on electric. Guys who didnít like electric bass, you can tell---it sounds like they don't like it. A lot of other bass players who were kind of forced to play the electric bass because thatís where the commercial scene was going at that time didnít adjust very well. Ron Carter, Al McKibbon... Bob Cranshaw adjusted very well, but Cranshaw took more of a workmanlike approach to the electric bass. He wasnít flashy or virtuoso. But Ray is showing off a little bit on this track. So it's a very good example of Ray Brownís unfortunately obscure electric bass playing.

Reviewer: Christian McBride


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