There’s a lot of Brown to be found on the Net. Some video or audio tracks emphasize his incom-
parable talent as an R&B; shouter; others showcase his abilities as a dancer, perfectly choreographing his moves in sync with the Flames’ rhythm section; still others feature him as a much overlooked organist. This video, taken from
a concert at the Olympia in Paris
in 1966, is a good example of Brown the performer, and every drop of sweat testifies that this
was the hardest working man in show business. It’s a medley of “Out of Sight” and “Maybe the Last Time,” and the latter is especially effective as a brisk 12/8 gospel number with great horn stabs and a bubbling Hammond B-3 underneath.
“Shake for Me”
Chester Burnett should have named himself Growlin’ Wolf, for that’s what he really did and better than anyone before or since. Nina Simone awkwardly introduces him in this 1964 appearance that was perhaps shown on French television or may be from the DVD of “American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 -- Vol. 2.” The provenance is unclear. But what a band! Hubert Sumlin on lead guitar, Sunnyland Slim on piano, Willie Dixon on bass and Clifton James on drums. Originally released as a single on Chess in 1962, the song and performance are the very essence of Chicago blues and yet utterly distinctive. Wolf died 31 years ago this coming Jan. 10, but his influence (and that of the members of his band) runs deep.
“ ‘Arnold Layne’ featuring David Bowie”
Gilmour pays his respects to the recently departed Syd Barrett in this live version of the very first Pink Floyd single. There is a special poignancy to this clip, as Gilmour was essentially Barrett’s replacement in the band, and bandmate Richard Wright is on keyboards as well (he provides a wonderfully psychedelic solo). The song is part of a limited edition three-song EP of Barrett material released by Gilmour. Bowie adds his usual flair to the proceedings. “Arnold Layne” is a great choice for an homage, a pop song that displays all of Barrett’s compositional playfulness and reminds one that Pink Floyd was originally a band that tunefully rocked, long before the bloated rock operas and extravaganzas in Pompeii.