Fred Wesley And The JBs Damn Right I Am Somebody on Limited Edition LP
In 1974 one of James Brown's most important band-leaders and sidemen – trombonist Fred Wesley would release not one but two albums as a leader including the excellent Damn Right I Am Somebody. Starting with an evocative cover it was clear to fans that this album wasn't all about a party. Deep messages abound in the songs here, such as the nearly 10-minute workout "I'm Paying Taxes, But What Am I Buying."
Social messages aside, Fred and his assembled JBs were a party-moving funk machine at heart, as heard on "If You Don't Get It The First Time, Back Up And Try It Again Paarty" and the laid-back groove of "Same Beat" (with prototypical sampling of Jesse Jackson exhorting an audience to chant "I Am / Somebody"). Also nestled among these raise-your-fist classics is one of the most experimental funk cuts ever made: "Blow Your Head," known to relatively modern listeners as the backbone of Public Enemy's "Public Enemy #1" (from 1987).
"To me, happiness is Fred Wesley playing his horn." – James Brown