African Salute to James Brown

It could have been billed the American Salute to James Brown: JB stalwarts Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley were up front and center, with Pee Wee in charge of the proceedings. The funk came hard and strong, with some curveballs thrown in like a lovely Try Me with vocals by Martha High and doo-wop backing by Pee Wee and company. 2 bona fide African stars made it to Minneapolis: Vieux Farka Toure and Chiekh Lo each had a star turn, most spectacularly on This Is A Man’s World with stunning vocals by Lo. It would have been nice to hear more from Lo and Farka Toure, but the music was so strong all night it’s hard to quibble. (Above: Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and Charles McNeil at the Dakota, Minneapolis, August 25, 2008. Photo by Mitchel Anderson.)

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