JOHN ‘JABO’ STARKS
LIKE A GROOVE MACHINE
Between the mid ’60s and the mid ’70s James Brown’s music was propelled by a triumvirate of hugely important funk drummers: Melvin Parker, Clyde Stubblefield and John ‘Jabo’ Starks.
Jabo had recorded a string of singles between 1959 and 1965 for Bobby Bland, and during this time came to the attention of James Brown, who decided Jabo would make an excellent addition to his band, beginning what would become one of the more long-lasting associations that the Godfather of Soul had with any drummer. Between 1966 and 1974, Jabo created some of the most memorable and funky grooves ever and in the process firmly established a template for funk drumming that defined the genre.
Brown’s ‘Sex Machine’ and ‘The Payback’ are merciless, demanding discipline as Jabo eschewed fills in favour of nailing the beat down. Clyde and Jabo shared the stage on LiveAtThe ApolloVolume2 with James Brown, and later De La Soul, Run DMC, MC Hammer and Public Enemy have all relied on his tight, swung 16th grooves to ground their tracks. Check out: James Brown ‘The Payback’