Born in Florida in 1941 Alfred Ellis joined James Brown in 1965 to eventually become band leader in 1967 and one of James Brown's most important assets during the creation of the Funk.

Already having played with Jazz artists Ron Carter and Sonny Rollins at the age of 20, he served as the link between James Brown and his musicians, translating James' ideas into musical pieces, arranging and orchestrating, guiding the band to focus on the rhythmic structure of the music. Replacing Nat Jones he became musical director in 1967 to co-write and play alto saxophone on the Number 1 R&B hit 'Cold Sweat' and 'Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)'. His arrangements were crucial to the success of James Brown. He left after three years to return to his jazz roots, working with the likes of George Benson and Esther Phillips. Unlike his fellow horn players Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, Alfred 'Pee Wee' would remain in the background, acting as arranger and music director throughout his career.

Recommended Listening:

James Brown - Cold Sweat 1967

Selected Discography:

James Brown - Raw Soul 1967
James Brown - I Can't Stand Myself 1968
James Brown - I Got The Feelin' 1968
James Brown - Say It Loud-I'm Black And Proud 1969

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