Years before he linked up with Parliament and Funkadelic, Collins famously served as the bassist for Brown’s backing band, the J.B.’s, during a short but prolific period during which he recorded such classics as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine,” “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing” and “Super Bad.” Collins captured the classic soul grooves of these hits on the original “JB — Still the Man,” which appeared on his 2011 album Tha Funk Capital of the World and featured a spoken-word tribute from the Reverend Al Sharpton.
The new Chew Fu remix reworks the steady soul of the original into an ecstatic funk anthem based around a relentless kick drum and a cavalcade of rapturous horns. The new video for the remix also features tributes to James Brown from a variety of guests including Sharpton, Sheila E, Les Claypool, Sean Lennon, Christian McBride, drummer Bernard Purdie, trombonist Fred Wesley and American Idol singer Uche.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Collins recalled a little-known story from his time with Brown: “I’ll never forget the time we were recording ‘Super Bad’ and JB had his lady friend watch him do his magic in the studio. He wanted to show everybody that he knew how to play bass. He said, in his James Brown voice, ‘Gimme that bass, son. You don’t know what you doin’.’ I gave it to him, he fiddled around for about 60 seconds, then he said: ‘Son, you know that note ain’t on here!’ Then he cracked up! Well to say the least, after the whole band got off the floor from crackin’ up, we continued to make ‘Super Bad’ a reality. James Brown would always try your focus and to reassure you and everybody else that he is “Still the Man!’”
Collins is also hosting the James Brown Birthday Bash, taking place tonight, May 3rd, at the Miller Theater in Augusta, Georgia.