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Saturday, October 27, 2007

JAMES BROWN and the James Brown Band : Ain't It Funky Now

Richard "Kush" Griffith
R.I.P. 1948 - 2007

"Kush" Griffith, trumpet player, played with some significant acts in the 60s and 70s. His big break was with James Brown's band in the late-60s. He later went on to form Motown house band Bottom & Co, and played with Parliament-Funkadelic, Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns, and Marvin Gaye among others. He passed away this year from a heart attack, suffering from about every ailment you can think of. Check out this article for more sordid details.

Kush was a prominent figure in James Brown's orchestra, as you can see here...
This song is the complete version of "Ain't It Funky Now". James is in charge of the proceedings as usual; I can't understand how anyone can be sooo funky when they ad-lib like James. This tracks simmers with a steady groove, and at 5:22 our man Kush gets to do a rare trumpet solo. He begins playing like he was surprised to get a solo at all! And I love JB's comments afterwards.

Song: "Ain't It Funky Now"
Recorded Oct. 14, 1969
From the album "AIN'T IT FUNKY" (King 1092) Jan. 1970
James Brown : vocals, organ
Richard "Kush" Griffith, Joseph Davis : trumpets
Fred Wesley : trombone
Maceo Parker, Eldee Williams : tenor saxophones
Jimmy Nolen, Alphonso "Country" Kellum : guitars
Charles Sherrell : bass
Clyde Stubblefield : drums
John "Jabo" Starks : co-vocals (no drums for Jab'O this time!)


Anonymous said...

Hello Captain,

"Kush" was indeed a prominent figure in the James Brown band and so was Waymon Reed, my role-model.

But the group photo you have displayed is misleading. This photo was taken prior to the "Ain't It Funky Now" session. Waymon was not on that session. He had already left James by then. The trumpet players on the session would have been "Kush" and Joseph Davis.

Keep the funk correct.

Joe Davis

Captain Beyond said...

Much obliged, Joe! I wanted to get a picture of Mr. Griffith, that was what I had at the time. I hope I listed the lineup correctly!

Cpt. Beyond