Tenoration

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Although best known for the funk he provided as James Brown's co-writer and musical director for a spell during one of the Godfather of Soul's most creative periods, saxist Pee Wee Ellis is a jazzman at heart. Perhaps that's why Van Morrison tapped him as his go-to reed guy for so many years in the early '80s when Morrison's muse led him in that direction. Here Ellis uses a two-disc format both could have fit on a single to explore his funk and jazz leanings, with an emphasis on the latter. The all-instrumental album is appropriately subtitled "From Jazz to Funk and Back" and opens with five tunes that display Ellis' R&B side, leading a tight four-piece ensemble ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Although best known for the funk he provided as James Brown's co-writer and musical director for a spell during one of the Godfather of Soul's most creative periods, saxist Pee Wee Ellis is a jazzman at heart. Perhaps that's why Van Morrison tapped him as his go-to reed guy for so many years in the early '80s when Morrison's muse led him in that direction. Here Ellis uses a two-disc format both could have fit on a single to explore his funk and jazz leanings, with an emphasis on the latter. The all-instrumental album is appropriately subtitled "From Jazz to Funk and Back" and opens with five tunes that display Ellis' R&B side, leading a tight four-piece ensemble through the paces. The playing is tough, uncompromising, and filled with substantial jazzy improvisation while keeping the backbeat rugged, especially on a lean but sizzling ten-minute take of Cannonball Adderley's "Sticks." This combination has been done before, particularly by the Crusaders, although Ellis' muscular lines add more heft to the approach. The group whips through a rather obscure, old Brown-Ellis composition, "Gittin' a Little Hipper," where the tone shifts to jazz yet returns to funk, all within three minutes, similar to the original. The closing ballad on the first half is a sweet, slinky, smoky version of "At Last," a jazz/soul interpretation of the Etta James signature tune that sets up disc two's predominantly straight-ahead style. Here Ellis displays his sax chops admirably during a short just over 30 minutes six-song program that runs from standards such as "You've Changed" through to Eddie Harris' classic "Freedom Jazz Dance." Only the drummer remains from the funk disc and the backing band is slimmed down to a trio. "Sticks" gets another, much shorter, but no less intense workout with an eight-minute Sonny Rollins' "Sunnymoon for Two" and Ellis' upbeat, bump and shake "Now Go On" both riding their grooves. "Freedom Jazz Dance" nimbly combines both styles into one fiery performance to close out this impressive set and prove that Ellis is equally adept at either jazz or funk, but perhaps best when he joins the two.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/2011
  • Label: Spv U.S.
  • UPC: 885513800329
  • Catalog Number: 80032
  • Sales rank: 108,661

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Slanky P (7:15)
  2. 2 Gittin' a Little Hipper (3:01)
  3. 3 Bon Bonn (7:00)
  4. 4 Sticks (10:42)
  5. 5 Zig Zag (7:01)
  6. 6 At Last (6:04)
Disc 2
  1. 1 You've Changed (4:30)
  2. 2 Sticks (4:11)
  3. 3 Parlayin' (4:30)
  4. 4 Sonnymoon for Two (8:37)
  5. 5 Now Go On (6:01)
  6. 6 Freedom Jazz Dance (4:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pee Wee Ellis Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone
Laurence Cottle Bass
Tony Remy Guitar
Patrick Scales Bass
Dan Moore Keyboards
Gareth Williams Piano (Grand)
Guido May Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
James Brown Composer
Eddie Harris Composer
Sonny Rollins Composer
Pee Wee Ellis Producer
Joachim Becker Producer
Klaus Genuit Engineer
Mack Gordon Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Bill Carey Composer
Carl Fischer Composer
Bud Hobgood Composer
Alfred Ellis Composer
Jim Schneider Composer
Jim Payne Composer
Marko Schneider Mastering
Julian Adderley Composer
Paul Rusky Composer
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