"On the One" JB-related question (Rhythm-Strut)

mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
edited April 2016 in Music Talk
This is largely a product of growing up in a post-JB world but I've always had trouble figuring out what songs of his DON'T begin "on the one." People seem to disagree over what was Brown's first major hit: "Papa's Got A Brand New Brand" is often credited given its chart-topping success but I've also heard people argue that "out of Sight" deserves the honor or "Night Train" or "I Got Money." To me, "Night Train's" famous bassline and horn section definitely kick in on the one but the drumming is more of the jazz shuffle, pre-funk variety. "I've Got Money's" drums and guitar both seem to accent the one. Then there's "Out of Sight" which has a feel somewhere between jazz and funk in its tempo even though the horns and bassline all accent the one. Any rhythmologists care to chime in on this?
TAGGED:
«1

  Comments


  • We NEED an avatar of Ricky Vincent saying "On The One! OWWWWWW!"

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    So are you asking exactly when JB started incorporating NOLA second line drum cadences?

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    So are you asking exactly when JB started incorporating NOLA second line drum cadences?

    No - that's pretty clear: it when's Clayton Fillyau joined his band in the early 1960s after receiving his training around NOLA drummers.

    But, for example, I'm pretty sure "Night Train" does NOT have a second line beat but the horns and bassline all accent the one. (I don't believe Fillyau was on that record in any case). The first of Brown's singles where the second line becomes really prominent is probably "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat that he hammers through the whole way through. I had never heard that song until the other day and shit was like a revelation, esp for a 1963 single.

    In any case, I guess I'm trying to piece apart, on a micro-level, where Brown began to make a shift from R&B to the conventions that we know understand as "funk." I don't want to be overly technical about it but I just find it interesting that so many different songs are credited.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    I should also add that "Mashed Potatoes USA", a minor hit from '62, also seems to clearly feature a second line beat but the rest of the song has more of a boogie-woogie feel to it compared to the proto-funk of, say, "Out of Sight" or "Night Train."

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Cool, I've got to have a listen to those songs as well. So thank tesach, for the homework assignment that I will be happy to complete.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    Cool, I've got to have a listen to those songs as well. So thank tesach, for the homework assignment that I will be happy to complete.

    If you've never peeped this book, it's well worth checking out. It looks kind of corny (bad art direction) but the interviews and analysis are very good, in my opinion.

    http://www.funkydrummer.com/JPpages/contents.html

  • I should also add that "Mashed Potatoes USA", a minor hit from '62, also seems to clearly feature a second line beat but the rest of the song has more of a boogie-woogie feel to it compared to the proto-funk of, say, "Out of Sight" or "Night Train."

    "Mashed Potatoes USA," IMO, always sounded like a bit of a train wreck...like JB is trying to invent funk but the whole band wasn't exactly thinking as one that day.

    If it were me, I'd put my cash of "Out Of Sight" (1964) being his first truly funky moment, because I can't think of any JB tune prior to this that uses a similar pattern. Even "Night Train" and "I Got Money," to me, sounded more like twist records than anything else.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    I should also add that "Mashed Potatoes USA", a minor hit from '62, also seems to clearly feature a second line beat but the rest of the song has more of a boogie-woogie feel to it compared to the proto-funk of, say, "Out of Sight" or "Night Train."

    "Mashed Potatoes USA," IMO, always sounded like a bit of a train wreck...like JB is trying to invent funk but the whole band wasn't exactly thinking as one that day.

    If it were me, I'd put my cash of "Out Of Sight" (1964) being his first truly funky moment, because I can't think of any JB tune prior to this that uses a similar pattern. Even "Night Train" and "I Got Money," to me, sounded more like twist records than anything else.

    Word - I agree about "Mashed Potatoes USA" - it's not a great song and though "I Got Money" has some really impressive drumming, it doesn't quite come together either. I still think "Night Train" has a lot of the core ideas but as you note, "Out of Sight" arguably is the first to really bring together the sound that would become associated with Brown's funk. After all, if I recall, the rhythm line from "Out of Sight" is what eventually morphed into "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag."

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    I should also add that "Mashed Potatoes USA", a minor hit from '62, also seems to clearly feature a second line beat but the rest of the song has more of a boogie-woogie feel to it compared to the proto-funk of, say, "Out of Sight" or "Night Train."

    "Mashed Potatoes USA," IMO, always sounded like a bit of a train wreck...like JB is trying to invent funk but the whole band wasn't exactly thinking as one that day.

    If it were me, I'd put my cash of "Out Of Sight" (1964) being his first truly funky moment, because I can't think of any JB tune prior to this that uses a similar pattern. Even "Night Train" and "I Got Money," to me, sounded more like twist records than anything else.

    Word - I agree about "Mashed Potatoes USA" - it's not a great song and though "I Got Money" has some really impressive drumming, it doesn't quite come together either. I still think "Night Train" has a lot of the core ideas but as you note, "Out of Sight" arguably is the first to really bring together the sound that would become associated with Brown's funk. After all, if I recall, the rhythm line from "Out of Sight" is what eventually morphed into "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag."

    From what I've read I think most music writers point towards Out Of Sight as the first time Brown really created his new sound that would take off with Papa's Got A Brand New Bag and the rest.

  • So are you asking exactly when JB started incorporating NOLA second line drum cadences?

    No - that's pretty clear: it when's Clayton Fillyau joined his band in the early 1960s after receiving his training around NOLA drummers.

    But, for example, I'm pretty sure "Night Train" does NOT have a second line beat but the horns and bassline all accent the one. (I don't believe Fillyau was on that record in any case).

    That was Brown himself playing drums on that one. His regular drummer, Nat Kendrick (had JB already started working with two drummers by then?), had to go to the bathroom real bad; rather than wait for Nat to return, James just sat in the drummer's chair himself.

  • luckluck 4,077 Posts
    So are you asking exactly when JB started incorporating NOLA second line drum cadences?

    No - that's pretty clear: it when's Clayton Fillyau joined his band in the early 1960s after receiving his training around NOLA drummers.

    But, for example, I'm pretty sure "Night Train" does NOT have a second line beat but the horns and bassline all accent the one. (I don't believe Fillyau was on that record in any case).

    That was Brown himself playing drums on that one. His regular drummer, Nat Kendrick (had JB already started working with two drummers by then?), had to go to the bathroom real bad; rather than wait for Nat to return, James just sat in the drummer's chair himself.



    You heard it here first, folks. JP, what was James wearing that day?

    How are you, partner?

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts

    "I Got Money,"

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

    with accents and shit? or just boom - bap boom boom - bap boom boom - bap like id expect?

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

    with accents and shit? or just boom - bap boom boom - bap boom boom - bap like id expect?

    it sounds like jungle...

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

    with accents and shit? or just boom - bap boom boom - bap boom boom - bap like id expect?

    it sounds like jungle...

    i NEED to hear this shit.

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

    with accents and shit? or just boom - bap boom boom - bap boom boom - bap like id expect?

    it sounds like jungle...

    i NEED to hear this shit.

    hope this works

    a href="http://
    [url=http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/46928/-vegotmoney.wma.html">]http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/46928/-vegotmoney.wma.html]
    ]http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/46928/-vegotmoney.wma.html[/url]

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
    "I Got Money," where Fillyau opens the song with that blistering breakbeat

    1963? anybody got a soundclip so i can hear this blistering 1963 breakbeat, i already dont believe my ears and i havent even heard it yet.

    i'm too lazy to burn it... but YES, shit is a straight up break....

    with accents and shit? or just boom - bap boom boom - bap boom boom - bap like id expect?

    it sounds like jungle...

    i NEED to hear this shit.


    holy shit!! wow. what the fuck?! my mind is blown.

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
    what a strange song regardless! ive never ever heard this. ridiculous.

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts
    what a strange song regardless! ive never ever heard this. ridiculous.

    I'M GOING INSANE!

  • what a strange song regardless! ive never ever heard this. ridiculous.

    I'M GOING INSANE!

    Yes, "I've Got Money" is the hippest thing since Epsom salt, but my God, y'all are reacting like this is avant-garde jazz!

  • p_gunnp_gunn 2,284 Posts
    what a strange song regardless! ive never ever heard this. ridiculous.

    I'M GOING INSANE!

    Yes, "I've Got Money" is the hippest thing since Epsom salt, but my God, y'all are reacting like this is avant-garde jazz!

    i was quoting JB...

  • what a strange song regardless! ive never ever heard this. ridiculous.

    I'M GOING INSANE!

    Yes, "I've Got Money" is the hippest thing since Epsom salt, but my God, y'all are reacting like this is avant-garde jazz!

    i was quoting JB...

    my fault - out of context, i thought this recording was really messin up your mind!

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    So are you asking exactly when JB started incorporating NOLA second line drum cadences?

    Do you really hear second line drum cadences in Cold Sweat? To me, the sounds of NOLA marching bands, Prof Longhair, Meters is light, rolling, syncapated, Cold Sweat, to me, is hard, steady and relentless. Do you think they are both West African rhythms that came over to the states through the slave trade? Rhythms that could have survived in the Sea Islands and pine tar camps of South Caroline and George as well as NOLA. Perhaps NOLA does not exsist in a vaccum. Perhaps James Brown influenced Eddie Bo, Allen Toussiant and the Meters as much as Esquirta, Fats Domino and Prof Longhair influenced James Brown. Just an idea.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    Dan,

    I don't think anyone in NOLA, from Toussaint on down, would deny that Brown had a huge impact on the music scene down there. However, there's also a very clear musical lineage that can show that many of Brown's ideas around drum patterns and rhythms that became an integral part of his larger ideas on polyrhythm come out of a clear NOLA tradition. Clayton Fillyau, who wasn't raised in NOLA but trained with drummers there, invented "the James Brown beat" back in the early 1960s which would become the blueprint for subsequent JB drum patterns (Fillyau trained Clyde Stubblefield when the latter joined the band and Stubblefield himself learned how to play drums by studying New Orleans marches).

    Can NOLA claim credit for Brown's innovations in funk, writ large? I don't think it plays out that simply. Brown's genius wasn't simply in identifying a new way to kick out a drum pattern but had to do with a bigger concept of making his entire band into a rhythm section and making that its prime purpose. But in doing so, he didn't craft this out of thin air. Brown himself gives ample credit to a lot of the jazz players who grew up with and admired, especially Louis Jordan and the Tympany 5. Brown was able to take all these ideas and influences and meld them into something greater.

    Regardless, I don't think it's very controversial to assert that second line drumming was a big part of the ingredients that Brown synthesized into his own rhythmic innovations.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    Dan,

    I don't think anyone in NOLA, from Toussaint on down, would deny that Brown had a huge impact on the music scene down there. However, there's also a very clear musical lineage that can show that many of Brown's ideas around drum patterns and rhythms that became an integral part of his larger ideas on polyrhythm[/b] come out of a clear NOLA tradition. Clayton Fillyau, who wasn't raised in NOLA but trained with drummers there, invented "the James Brown beat" back in the early 1960s which would become the blueprint for subsequent JB drum patterns (Fillyau trained Clyde Stubblefield when the latter joined the band and Stubblefield himself learned how to play drums by studying New Orleans marches).

    Can NOLA claim credit for Brown's innovations in funk, writ large? I don't think it plays out that simply. Brown's genius wasn't simply in identifying a new way to kick out a drum pattern but had to do with a bigger concept of making his entire band into a rhythm section and making that its prime purpose. But in doing so, he didn't craft this out of thin air. Brown himself gives ample credit to a lot of the jazz players who grew up with and admired, especially Louis Jordan and the Tympany 5. Brown was able to take all these ideas and influences and meld them into something greater.

    Regardless, I don't think it's very controversial to assert that second line drumming was a big part of the ingredients that Brown synthesized into his own rhythmic innovations.

    This is exactly what I am saying. Brown was influenced by NOLA, Brown influenced NOLA. Your question was when did Brown start emphasising the one, to which HC responded that it was when he started appropriating NOLA rhythms. Which did seem to releate to your question but did relate to his belife that all music is stolen from NOLA. Which does not give James and band the credit they deserve for creating a new musical style. A style that was influenced by NOLA rhythms and jazz, and by Louis Jordan, and calypso and all kinds of other things.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    By the way - I noticed that the drums and vocals were panned on separate channels so I went back to "I've Got Money" and just isolated the drums and guitar.

    http://www.zshare.net/audio/money-left-mp3.html

    Apart from the insane hi-hat and snare combos that Fillyau is tossing around here, peep the bass drum syncopation.

    1963 people. '63.


  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts

    This is exactly what I am saying. Brown was influenced by NOLA, Brown influenced NOLA. Your question was when did Brown start emphasising the one, to which HC responded that it was when he started appropriating NOLA rhythms. Which did seem to releate to your question but did relate to his belife that all music is stolen from NOLA. Which does not give James and band the credit they deserve for creating a new musical style. A style that was influenced by NOLA rhythms and jazz, and by Louis Jordan, and calypso and all kinds of other things.

    But Dan, you're treating this like a "he borrowed here, he gave back there, it's a wash." It's not a zero sum equation. Whatever Brown may have "given back" to NOLA has little to do with what he gained from it and vice versa. Strange as it may be for me to defend a point Archaic is making, he didn't say "appropriate" let alone "steal" - he said "incorporate," and whether or not he had an ulterior meaning to his posting, regardless, I think he has a point to an extent: second line drumming was an important, early key to opening up Brown's ideas on funk. It just wasn't the sum of it.

    And it's also worth noting that the second line sound itself (as your previous post indicated) wasn't like some organic outgrowth out of Southern Louisiana soil. It, in turn, was heavily indebted to Latin-Caribbean rhythms that moved through the port city, which is turn, trace their lineage (or least much of it) to West African rhythmic traditions. NOLA drummers synthesized something out of that, Brown synthesized more, etc.

    By the way, one interesting thing about Brown's relationship to Fillyau is that he signed the drummer to a contract that forbade him from sharing his ideas with any other drummer (not already in the band) which apparently, contradicted New Orleans tradition of open exchange. Just goes to show that Brown was a very shrewd (and ruthless) dude when it came to his business.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts

    This is exactly what I am saying. Brown was influenced by NOLA, Brown influenced NOLA. Your question was when did Brown start emphasising the one, to which HC responded that it was when he started appropriating NOLA rhythms. Which did seem to releate to your question but did relate to his belife that all music is stolen from NOLA. Which does not give James and band the credit they deserve for creating a new musical style. A style that was influenced by NOLA rhythms and jazz, and by Louis Jordan, and calypso and all kinds of other things.

    But Dan, you're treating this like a "he borrowed here, he gave back there, it's a wash." It's not a zero sum equation. Whatever Brown may have "given back" to NOLA has little to do with what he gained from it and vice versa. Strange as it may be for me to defend a point Archaic is making, he didn't say "appropriate" let alone "steal" - he said "incorporate," and whether or not he had an ulterior meaning to his posting, regardless, I think he has a point to an extent: second line drumming was an important, early key to opening up Brown's ideas on funk. It just wasn't the sum of it.

    And it's also worth noting that the second line sound itself (as your previous post indicated) wasn't like some organic outgrowth out of Southern Louisiana soil. It, in turn, was heavily indebted to Latin-Caribbean rhythms that moved through the port city, which is turn, trace their lineage (or least much of it) to West African rhythmic traditions. NOLA drummers synthesized something out of that, Brown synthesized more, etc.

    By the way, one interesting thing about Brown's relationship to Fillyau is that he signed the drummer to a contract that forbade him from sharing his ideas with any other drummer (not already in the band) which apparently, contradicted New Orleans tradition of open exchange. Just goes to show that Brown was a very shrewd (and ruthless) dude when it came to his business.

    Fair enough. I guess I'm just asshurt that he wouldn't agree with me that Cold Sweat was the first funk tune. And that must have been 2 or 3 yeras ago and everyone has forgotten but me. So just give me a "get over it" icon and I will shut up.

    Actually I don't remember hearing about Fillyau (Which is just a great Louisiana sounding name) until this thread. I read his bio and Startime box but if they mention him I forgot.

    So just to make this post interesting I'll give a JB rememberance. When I saw Brown in '80 a preacher came out and gave him an award for all his charitable work. This was part of the show and others who saw him in the '80s may have seen this. I remember the preacher said:
    I'm a preacher
    But I've been around
    I've been uptown
    I've been downtown
    but one thing I found
    If you want to get down
    You got to have James Brown

    I didn't know it at the time, but I am sure today that it was Al Sharpton.
Sign In or Register to comment.