Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pee Wee Ellis - Different Rooms

Pee Wee Ellis is best known as one of the architects of funk, the orchestrator of James Brown's sound. He also was the musical director on multiple Van Morrison CDs. On the tracks of Different Rooms, Ellis offers up another facet of his musical life. He's called this development of his sound Smunk (smooth funk). It bears similarities to Fusion, both in the selection of popular tunes covered and in the use of the cool timbre of the electric piano. But I would suggest that more than anything, this CD is Ellis coming home to jazz. Jazz rooted in body rhythms, but first and foremost exceptional jazz. The horn arrangements are nothing short of masterful. And Ellis' tone on tenor sax is a total pleasure. His lyrical solos don't scream and shout - they achieve greater power through nuanced restraint and emotional depth. Several tunes stick with me, running through my mind long after listening (particularly the title track, and Who knows the answer). Wonderful CD by an under-appreciated master jazzman. - by Doctor D.,

Artist: Pee Wee Ellis
Album: Different Rooms
Year: 2006
Label: Skip Records
Runtime: 58:44
Recorded live at Radio Bremen Sendesaal (Germany) in 24.08.2004 

1.  I Heard It Trough the Grapevine (Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield) 6:39
2.  All Four Seasons (Gordon Sumner) 5:34
3.  Different Rooms (Alfred Ellis) 7:40
4.  Who Has the Answer? (Alfred Ellis) 7:21
5.  Blue Bell Pepper (Alfred Ellis / Ralf Schmid) 4:21
6.  Boogie On Reggae Woman (Stevie Wonder) 3:33
7.  Now And Then (Alfred Ellis / Ralf Schmid) 6:57
8.  Do Dee Dum Diddy (Alfred Ellis) 5:32
9.  You Haven't Done Nothin' (Stevie Wonder) 4:41
10. On a Slow Boat to China (Frank Loesser) 6:26

Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (Tenor Saxophone, Voice)
Ralf Schmid (Keyboards)
Joo Kraus (Trumpet)
Joe Gallardo (Trombone)
Martin Scales (Guitar)
Christian Diener (Bass)
Torsten Krill (Drums)
Biboul Darouiche (Percussion)



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