Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
1981 Oddball For JB collectors
plsilverman | USA | 04/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"His contract with Polydor was up, his last album for the label a live recording from Japan. So the next logical step would be cut a live album for an independent label and use the same repertoire. Not really. Who knows? What can't be theorized is the straight ahead funk achieved in New York, undercut somewhat overseas. Jimmy Nolen's axe at home plate is so cuttin' that the JB horns in the outfield seem almost unnecessary at times. It's probably not the pre-planned mix but the impact is indisputable.
This lesser-known set (originally issued on vinyl c. 1981 on Knockout Records as "Live In New York") may not present the polish of the big label offer, but the ballads ("Try Me","...Man's World") are more melodious and the uptempo tracks have more drive (especially "It's Too Funky In Here" and "Body Heat").
One tune not found on the Japan is the short interjection of "The Payback". The groove is as devastating as it is short. Just like today when "Hot Pants" and "Popcorn" serve to elate then quickly deflate the audience. It's a quirk of show business which I can't understand, also practiced by other major stars.
This set from Studio 54 is a very worthy addition to any JB collection as it has a double significance, an end for the venue itself and the beginning of James' new era starting with smaller clubs and leading to an appearance in the movie "Rocky" and the resultant smash "Living In America"."