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“Gettin’ Up Off That Thing” at Hollywood Bowl’s James Brown Celebration

posted August 14, 2014, 10:47 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Live Show Reviews | comment Leave a Comment


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As we head towards the end of summer days and folks savor each vacation moment possible, I was busy breaking into a “cold sweat” at last night’s James Brown Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl. Timed well with the recent release of the Godfather of Soul’s biopic in theatres last week, the diverse crowd settled in to ‘let the funk flow’. After a brief intro by three-time Grammy winner Christian McBride, the house band full of legendary musicians including JB trombonist Fred Wesley supported the lineup featuring Bettye LaVette, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo and D’Angelo.

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Whether it was Bettye LaVette sharing fond memories touring with James and breaking it down on “It’s A Man’s World” or Angelique Kidjo telling funny stories about listening to James Brown records in her native Benin and getting the entire crowd to roar back “I’m Black and I’m Proud”, the night provided epic moments. With music that would make anyone want to dance, “Super Bad” Aloe Blacc (or “Lulla” or “Lord” Blacc as he was mistakenly referred to by the JB lookalike MC) showed off his dope dance moves during his mini set. Last but not least, D’Angelo who has not performed since his “Brothers” tour with Questlove last summer, made a rare appearance on the West Side to deliver soul-clapping funk filled “Soul Power” with Chad Boseman, the actor who played JB in the movie, joining him. Yup, the audience walked away “feeling good”.

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