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“The Best of Funk: Brothers Johnson” is a 64-minute DVD
released in 2009 which contains a 2003 outdoor concert
performed in Oakland, California. It featured guitarist
George Johnson (1953 – ) and bassist Louis Johnson
(1955-2015). Prior to watching this disc, I must once again
confess my relative ignorance of their music and considerable
fame. Back in the day, the “R & B” and “Funk” genres
were not a part of my musical lexicon. However, better
late than never! This concert included a generous helping
of this group’s 1970’s and 1980’s hits, including
“Strawberry Letter 23,” “Stomp,”
“Get the Funk Out Ma’ Face,” “Word Up,” and a cover of
Sly Stone’s “It’s a Family Affair.”

Seven additional musicians joined the Brothers Johnson on
stage including two keyboardists, players on drums and
percussion, one player doubling on saxophone and flute, and
two female backup singers. All of the performances were
tight with a great sense of “groove.” I was particularly
impressed by the late Louis “Thunderthumbs” Johnson’s
bass work, which was well captured by the sound engineers.
In fact, the sound quality of the entire concert was great.
Both of these brothers have had solid reputations as
session players for other groups and frequently collaborated
with Quincy Jones.

The brothers recounted their life stories in the accompanying
39-minute bonus feature which also included post-concert
audience impressions. This disc is definitely worth checking
out, particularly for those into “Funk!”