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JB: World Wide Waves

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numerotres-l.jpg barker_dave_prisonero_101b.jpg ravi_harris___the_prophets.jpg

Ocho : Hot Pants Road
taken from the album “Numero Tres” on UA Latino (1974)

Dave Barker & The Upsetters : Prisoner Of Love
taken from the album “Prisoner Of Love” on Trojan (1970)

Ravi Harris & The Prophets : Gimme Some More/Hot Pants Medley
taken from the album “Funky Sitar Man” on BBE (1997)

James Brown : Give It Up, Turn It Loose (Latin Reconstruction)
taken from a whitelable 12″

Just now emerging from the dizzying vortex of the past 2 weeks– it was family crashing on couches, going broke on presents, eating and drinking too much, partying like mad, and DJ-ing until 9am on New Year’s Day. It was also the death of JB. I’ve already seen a lot of great tributes and heartfelt write-ups about the Godfather. I also spent a good deal of time just watching all the electrifying vintage footage of Soul Brother #1 on youtube.com (this website keeps reminding me, perhaps more than any other single site, that we’ve entered a new era of media). And now, this late in the game, there’s little for me to add. Still, considering all the hours I spent as a young teen bumping James Brown’s music, how he inspired me to make music of my own, how digging his records pulled me into the world of DJing, and even provided the instrumentals for my first freestyles… I owe him RESPECT.

So does much of the world in one way or another. What I wanted to add to the recent outpouring of JB appreciation is a little glimpse at the global reach of his work. The covers and rip-offs are countless. Dudes were jacking his style in Ethiopia, and in Brazil too. So I put together a few tracks that I think demostrate some of the more interesting fusions and mutations of the JB signature sound. From Nuyorican Harlem, to Funky Kingston, all the way to India, JB made waves. I also threw in a recent and mysterious remix that has been a crate staple and continues to work magic on the dancefloor. Definitely the highlight of my DJ gigs this past week was looking out on a seething crowd (there were AFROs bouncing!) getting sweaty and loose with a newly kindled appreciation for hard, popping FUNK. Keep on dancing! Funk will never die!