Pee Wee Ellis

Live Albums

About Pee Wee Ellis

Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis was the architect of James Brown's era-defining soul classics of the late '60s, introducing the dynamic arrangements and punishing rhythms that would define the emerging language of funk. Ellis played with Brown throughout the latter half of the '60s, co-writing and arranging such funk classics as "Licking Stick," "Cold Sweat," and "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." He also began a long association with Van Morrison in 1979, and recorded with artists like Jack McDuff and George Benson. He released albums under his own name, including 1992's Blues Mission, 2002's Live and Funky, and 2011's Tenoration. While rooted in R&B, he had a deep grasp of jazz as heard on 2018's In My Ellington Mood. Prior to his passing in 2021, Ellis lived in England, where he toured with Ginger Baker and fellow Brown alum Maceo Parker, as well as leading his own groups.

Bradenton, FL, United States
April 21, 1941

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