Soul: Joyful Noisemakers

These are hard times for music audiences that want to see as well as hear a lively show. Jazzmen turn their backs to the house and noodle obscurely. Rock groups shamble around the bandstand in rummage-sale outfits, sometimes acknowledging their listeners' presence only with obscenities. And as for the avantgarde, how much stage presence can an electronic synthesizer have?

For true visual flair, nothing beats rhythm-and-blues. Snazzy-stepping, soul-singing performers like James Brown and Wilson Pickett sock it to the faithful with a furious abandon that shakes the halls on college campuses and...