James Brown turned 70 this year, and while most great-grandparents are settling down on their lake house patio, or complaining James Brown turned 70 this year, and while most great-grandparents are settling down on their lake house patio, or complaining about the nursing home food, last I heard, James was busy scaring the shit out of solicitors at his South Carolina home. With that in mind, it's good to know his legacy and legend are in safe keeping via his music, and the myriad compilations detailing the facets of his genius. In the Jungle Groove was originally issued in , just as interest in Brown's backbeats reawakened via the power of sampling in hip-hop, and cut for cut, it's in the highest category of Brown compilations, standing tall alongside any of his greatest hits sets and even the Star Time box. It's not that it necessarily covers a lot of ground, or even gives a good overall view of Brown's career-- because it really only spans a short period from late until mid , with a bonus track from added for this reissue-- but those years were particularly fertile, and this set nails them.
Originally issued to capitalize on the popularity of Brown's music in hip hop circles at the time, it includes the first album release of the much- sampled single " Funky Drummer " , along with a selection of previously unreleased tracks, alternate takes, and remixes. The original recordings were produced by Brown, while the reissue was produced by Cliff White and Tim Rogers. The album's title is taken from a song Brown recorded in the studio in August The full recording of the song "In the Jungle Groove" remains unissued; however, on the album its introduction is appended to the beginning of "I Got to Move", another previously unreleased song recorded at the same session. In a contemporary review, Richard Hallman of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recommended the album to "connoisseurs and collectors", and said that it "should be considered for purchase only by those who take their Godfather very seriously.
While the first few numbers here feature Brown sidemen who were in on his mid-'60s hits, the majority feature the original J. Faced with a walkout by his old band, Brown partially formed the J. Pinckney , and trombonist Fred Wesley , would eventually return to flesh out the J. The one constant was vocalist and organist Bobby Byrd , who had been with Brown since the singer's start in The incredible grooves Bootsy Collins and Stubblefield laid down here would become manna for hip-hop DJs over 15 years later, with the album's "Funky Drummer Bonus Beat Reprise " becoming one of the supreme breakbeats of all time. Filling out the collection are the very soulful pre-J.