The Brothers Johnson The Best of Funk: Brothers Johnson

The Brothers Johnson — George on guitar and Louis on bass, respectively — are one of the finest and unfortunately, more underrated outfits of the '70s funk era. Shot in 2003 at the Sixth Annual Stone Soul Picnic in Oakland, The Best of Funk is an entertaining, if slight, greatest hits concert. Stone cold funk classics like "Ain't We Funkin' Now," "I'll Be Good To You" and Shuggie Otis cover "Strawberry Letter 23" (perhaps best known nowadays for its use in a cereal commercial and as the haunting accompaniment to Samuel Jackson's murder of Chris Tucker in Jackie Brown) are present but what's ultimately disappointing is the flat and by the book delivery that's botched even further by a thin sound mix. Louis Johnson is one of the great funk bassists of his generation — arguably on par with Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins — so his under-representation is rather disheartening. Much more compelling is the supplemental 40-minute interview, which is much more insightful then the concert. This is for die-hards only. Newcomers to the Brothers Johnson will want to check out landmark albums like Look Out For #1 and Right On Time. (Voiceprint)