In an effort to educate myself on a corner of the musical world I’ve previously overlooked, and in some sense possibly scorned, I’ve hooked myself up with some James Brown. This move was mostly inspired by my enjoyment of the Wild Magnolia’s extremely funky self-titled 1974 album, and my subsequent realization, in conversation, that I did not have any other funk music within my scope of knowledge. I first picked up a copy of Brown’s single collecting debut, Please, Please, Please, and was surprised by the relatively mild R&B/Rock & Roll stylings therein contained. Regardless, I was on something of a mission to introduce myself to the raging funk that Brown is best known for, and accordingly plunged into the foundational classic of hip-hop sampling, In the Jungle Groove (1986). Unavoidably enjoyable, there’s not much to be said about the album that the grooving beats don’t say themselves. Though “Funky Drummer” is the most famous cut, with the drum break that sailed a thousand dj’s ships, and “It’s a New Day” is probably my favourite, with the gospel screams, I’d like to highlight “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing” for its great a cappella breakdown and Brown’s instructing the engineer to keep the tape rolling during the break. Here’s the version from the 1972 album There It Is.
James Brown and the J.B.’s, “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing”