PEE WEE ELLIS PRESENTS COLD SWEAT, 50 YEARS OF FUNK (Saturday)
Sax legend and former James Brown band leader heads this funky party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Cold Sweat’, the song he co-wrote with the Godfather of Soul, that went on to change the face of music and be hailed as THE BIRTH OF FUNK!
Written and recorded in May 1967 by Ellis and Brown, ‘Cold Sweat’ is widely regarded as a watershed moment in popular music, topping the Billboard R&B charts and reshaping contemporary music for decades to come.
Pivotal in the birth of funk, musically hugely influential and sampled by the hip-hop generation (Public Enemy, Roni Size, Ultramagnetic MCs and more), if one song deserves a 50th birthday party, then that song is ‘COLD SWEAT’!
Pee Wee’s remarkable story spans six decades, starting in the '50s when he took himself and his sax off to New York City to find his heroes Miles Davis, Theolonious Monk and the great Sonny Rollins. A promising career leading jazz bands in Florida took an unexpected turn in 1965 when he joined James Brown’s Sensational Revue, playing alto sax.
Within six months he was bandleader/musical director and was co-writing with James Brown, including ‘Cold Sweat’ and many of JB’s hits for the next four years.
By 1970, Pee Wee was producing and directing for the likes of Brother Jack McDuff, Esther Phillips and George Benson and in 1979 he caught the ear of Van Morrison and began a spell as Van’s MD arranging the horns on albums such as ‘Into the Music’ and ‘Common One’.
Special guest, “Sweet” Charles Sherrell played bass on some of James Brown's most famous recordings of the late 1960s, including "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", "Mother Popcorn", and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose".
A talented vocalist in his own right, Sherrell’s solo career includes his debut album, ‘Sweet Charles: For Sweet People’, featuring the hit ‘Yes It’s You’.