Culture in brief: DJ Brother Mister returns
NEIL GRABOWSKY/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL.
On Friday, July 27, 8 p.m., DJ Brother Mister, otherwise known as Christian McBride, will appear to spin records at the second annual DJ Brother Mister Old School Funk + Soul Party at 18 Label, at 18 Label St.
The party kicks off the Montclair Jazz Festival, which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11. As the alter ego of six-time Grammy award-winning bassist McBride, DJ Brother Mister will spin classic R&B, soul and funk on original analog vinyl from what he considers the “sweet spot” of dance music, from 1966 to 1986. He’ll sometimes play along on his electric bass, making this, according to Jazz House Kids, where McBride is artistic director, “a can’t-miss, unique night of movin’ and groovin.’
For more information, visit montclairjazzfestival.org.
Last year, we interviewed McBride about his alter ego.He said:
“Brother Mister” is a prefix that James Brown used when he really got to know you well. He called everyone “mister” no matter how well he knew you. You were always “Mr. parker, Mr. Jackson.” In those rare moments of just being with his guard down, informal, he would call you “Brother Mister.”
When I got to work with Mr. Brown he called me that one time.
I’ll never forget it. That let me know he felt really comfortable with me.
Why soul and funk, we asked? He answered:
I think people really can appreciate it. The thing about dance music, you think of music played by musicians playing instruments, as opposed to programs and studio wizardry I have no problem with studio wizardry. There are genius producers and artists, who maximized the creativeness of that Somebody like Prince. He also played an instrument. He didn’t have to go digital to get down.
There was a sweet spot in dance music from 1966 to 1986. I don’t care what your culture is, what you are into.
Dance music from that period will make you get up.
And he was right. Culture editor Gwen Orel wrote in "I won't dance. Don't Ask me":
"I wasn’t going to dance.
I’d put on my retro ’70s T-shirt, a denim skirt and sandals, but that was just to fit in. A reporter should fit in. ...
I was ready to work, get some quotes, go home in time for “11th Hour with Brian Williams.”
And then, James Brown.
“Get up, get on up!
“Stay on the scene!”
I looked down, and saw my foot moving.
Then my hips. Then my arms were waving.