CD Review: The J.B.'s "These are the J.B.'s"

As James Brown-related rarities go, this quirky unreleased gem from 1970, featuring Bootsy Collins on bass (with his older brother Catfish on guitar), expands the canon by more than just a sliver.
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As James Brown-related rarities go, this quirky unreleased gem from 1970, featuring Bootsy Collins on bass (with his older brother Catfish on guitar), expands the canon by more than just a sliver. The first incarnation of the J.B.’s was packed wit h raw talent, and Collins—only 19 at the time—lets it fly with fleet-fingered dexterity (on the ten-minute freeform workout “I’ll Ze”) and an innate sense of hard-swinging funk (“When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can”) that sizzles with brash abandon.

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Even with four bassists in effect—including session aces Abraham Laboriel, Dave Wilder, Guy Erez, and longtime touring vet Pablo Stennett—and influences as farflung as rock, jazz, and R&B, Ziggy Marley’s fifth solo outing flows with remarkable continuity.