Chet Doxas, You Can't Take It With You, Whirlwind ****

An additional record to add to the marlbank list of best jazz albums of 2021 on the next and final update in a few months. (Latest list, the two-thirds-through compiled recently snapshot is here). It's obvious why. Well beyond sheer …

Published: 25 Sep 2021. Updated: 32 days.

An additional record to add to the marlbank list of best jazz albums of 2021 on the next and final update in a few months. (Latest list, the two-thirds-through compiled recently snapshot is here). It's obvious why. Well beyond sheer instrumentalism which there is wherever you listen, a group sense (ditto) there's also wit. Seven years since the release of Riverside, the wonderful Chet Doxas-Dave Douglas record that got the essence of Jimmy Giuffre to the very marrow, retro fiend Doxas' Mark Twain tribute 'Twelve foot blues' has an airy, dancing, quality to its feel. An all-star setting that finds the tenorist with pianist Ethan Iverson and double bassist Thomas Morgan it's interesting hearing Iverson playing against Doxas who is a very different player stylistically to the Warne Marsh-ian Mark Turner heard memorably on Temporary Kings. ‘Lodestar (for Lester Young)’ is another highlight of the drummer-less record. It's unusual to hear a jazz album that works without a drummer (and coincidentally there was no drummer on the even more depopulated Temporary Kings). Iverson goes ''classical'' at the beginning of 'The Last Pier'. Listen how the section then changes to jazz as Doxas who can play very softly coaxes the trio along in laidback fashion. Morgan acts as the secret weapon of mass instruction throughout. Out now

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Funk and jazz icon Pee Wee Ellis has died at the age of 80

Very sad news that funk and jazz icon the saxophonist, bandleader, arranger and composer Pee Wee Ellis who made history with James Brown has died at the age of 80. More to follow. The news was posted on Pee Wee's official Facebook page earlier …

Published: 24 Sep 2021. Updated: 33 days.

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Very sad news that funk and jazz icon the saxophonist, bandleader, arranger and composer Pee Wee Ellis who made history with James Brown has died at the age of 80. More to follow. The news was posted on Pee Wee's official Facebook page earlier today.

Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis co-wrote and arranged for James Brown 'Cold Sweat' and 'Say It Loud-I’m Black and I’m Proud.' He was born in Bradenton, Florida on 21 April 1941 and in his teens moved to Rochester New York State and began gigging with Chuck Mangione, later studying with Sonny Rollins. He joined James Brown's band in 1967. One of his most popular compositions 'The Chicken,' on The Popcorn was later covered by Jaco Pastorius.

Ellis founded the band Gotham in 1972 and Pass the Butter was highly sought after by hip-hop artists later.

As an arranger and saxist for Van Morrison he achieved a lot of acclaim and in The J.B. Horns, the Pee Wee Ellis Assembly and tenure in Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion new generations of fans found him. This blog enjoyed him play on several occasions over the years, most memorably at the Subtone in Cheltenham, at the Rhythmic on Chapel Market in Islington interviewing him there briefly and most recently with the Jazz Heads at Ronnie Scott's. Such nights. Hearing him no matter how many times made you feel brand new. RIP