Tuesday, October 13, 2015

James Brown in Paris, 1968

James Brown was one of the great musicians and performers of the previous century. Here’s a video of a live performance from 1968.

The show opens with instrumental jazz, Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder”. That’s highly unusual for pop music, but not so unusual for James Brown. The trumpet soloist is Waymon Reed, who also had a distinguished jazz career, playing with Count Basie, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, and Frank Foster. The second tune he sings is “That’s Life”, which is associated with Sinatra and was later performed by rocker David Lee Roth. The whole performance is worthwhile, and if you’ve got a taste for this kind of thing, it’s worth thinking about what Brown does and how he does it.


  1. James runs through Johnny Mercer's "I Wanna Be Around" before "That's Life" Fascinating to see this stuff. Didn't realize he performed so much jazzy stuff in concert. This with the Sidewinder kickoff was an eye opener for this casual fan.

  2. Yes, it's fascinating. It sure surprised me. I wonder if Lee Morgan ever heard it (he didn't die until 1972).