Nice stack of jazz and soul LPs to close out 2008, courtesy Som Records.

1.  James Brown – Thinking About Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things [King Records]
James Brown’s 1968 tribute to the great R’n’B singer Little Willie John.

2.  James Brown – Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud [King Records]
Stone classic funk on the title track and plenty of deeper slow burn R’n’B tracks. Stunning.

3.  Joe Harriott Quintet and Sextet – Southern Horizons [Jazzland Records]
Trumpeter Joe Harriott delivers on a set of near-free jazz with amazingly powerful rhythm work. Bonus points for the nice moddish English girl on the cover.

4.  Brother Jack McDuff – Walk On By [Prestige Records]
Brother Jack McDuff delivers a great set of Hammond soul-jazz from 1972. Not quite the epic take on Walk On By by Issac Hayes, but still a cool straight-forward reading.

5.  Quartette Tres Bien – Boss Tres Bien [Decca Records]
Propulsive rhythms drive this great set of readings of standards like I Love Paris and Days of Wine and Roses.

6.  Lalo Schifrin – Piano Strings and Bossa Nova [MGM Records]
Lalo’s deep. pounding piano is front and center on this set of Bossa jams.

7.  Gordon Parks – Shaft’s Big Score [MGM Records]
Gordon Parks takes the soundtrack reins for the return of Shaft in 1972. Nice chase theme.

8.  The Staple Singers – Bealtitude: Respect Yourself [Stax Records]
The title track has been a favorite for years. Finally get to hear the rest of it!

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