Pee Wee Ellis
Live and Funky
Hey, I’ll never harp on anybody for trying to make a buck (OK, that’s a bold-faced lie), and I love these old JBs. If I’m not mistaken, Pee Wee was also a part of Parliament/Funkadelic’s Horny Horns. So, I doubly love this fella — along with cronies Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker (hell, I saw Maceo this past New Year’s Eve and even interviewed the man once). But, I don’t know what it is about pop music and aging. All other art forms have the artists getting better with age. But, with pop musicians, almost to a man, they were just better younger. And, while Pee Wee has the right to make that buck and still swings on his tenor sax and, yes, is still funky, he just ain’t makin’ it as funky as he used to. No, I don’t want to keep comparing these guys to their immortal pasts, but, if they’re going to keep playing the same kind of music, then they’re just going to be shivering in the damp, cold darkness of their own shadows. Maceo briefly broke out with Roots Revisited, but soon fell back in with Ellis and Wesley. Perhaps, if I actually saw Pee Wee live, I would feel differently, but Live And Funky, while good, depresses me for its lack of former greatness.