Pee Wee Ellis is still best remembered as the man behind the sound of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
However, in this performance for the Birmingham International Jazz Festival at Star City, he came up with two sets of the best of straight-ahead jazz, his tough Texas tenor sax backed by an excellent trio of UK musicians in pianist Gareth Williams, bassist Laurence Cottle and drummer Mark Mondesir.
Pee Wee settled mostly into a mid-tempo driving groove, with the occasional expressively broad-toned ballad.
The second half never strayed far from the blues until a joyous finale, township-style, with My Neighbourhood.
The name Alan Price summons up some of the most memorable sounds in the last 40 years.
At Star City he was having fun, without depriving his audience of his hits.
With a superb five-piece featuring George ‘Zoot’ Money on keyboards and Bobby Tench on guitar, Price was clearly enjoying himself, throwing in unrehearsed material, leaving the band exchanging glances, wondering what was coming next, before rising triumphantly to every challenge.
Rating: 5/5 both