Still Black Still Proud - An African Tribute To James Brown cond. Pee Wee Ellis
funk, soul, afro-beat, hip-hop
Black music has always gone creatively back and forth between Mama Africa and the Americas. This project has set many a festival on fire taking funk back to the very place that inspired James Brown when
he invented it in the 60’s. The Godfather of Soul raised Black America’s consciousness with syncopated anthems, like Cold Sweat, Say It Loud: I’m Black & I’m Proud and
Payback. They not only stimulated countless heads and hips in the US, but had a massive influence back home in Africa. Fela Kuti’s afro-beat is probably the best known though by no means the
only fruit of that cross-pollination.
Alto saxist Pee Wee Ellis, who was the musical leader of Brown’s band in the 60’s and co-composer of 26 songs, has put together a formidable group of African players. On vocals they have The
Mahotella Queens, the pride of South Africa from the 60’s onwards, Martha High, who sang on most James Brown hits of the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s, and the British hip-hop-innovator Ty,
who has made three excellent albums and pushed the rap envelope with afro-legend Tony Allen, Blur-vocalist Damon Albarn and the De La Soul, to name a few.
On top of many James Brown -hits, the program includes also original material by The Mahotella Queens and some new songs that Ellis composed with the band. Like it says in one of the show’s songs:
Gonna Have A Funky Good Time!