Fred Wesley – A Funk Jazz Legend Behind The Legends

If you love funk and jazz music and don’t know who Fred Wesley is, you really should. He is responsible for or has played an important part in most of the greatest funk music ever made.

James Brown. Parliament-Funkadelic. Count Basie. Ray Charles.  Barry White. Curtis Mayfield. They are just a few names on a long list of legendary artists in the funk, soul & jazz world that trombonist Fred Wesley has worked with, played with, or has directed and composed music for during his long and incredible career.

Fred Wesley

Fred Wesley’s discography is a mile long. As well as decades of work with those musical legends, he has also produced some of the coolest,  greatest ever, swinging funk-jazz music with his own band – The Fred Wesley GroupThe JBs; and now, The New JBs.

I was lucky enough to catch Fred Wesley & The New JBs live last year at the Byron Bay Blues Fest.  My jaw was to the ground during the whole show, at the incredible funky-ass greatness of both the musicianship and the music.

Check out some sample tracks from Fred Wesley & The New JBs 2003 album Wuda Cuda Shuda…

Wuda Cuda Shuda (2003)

Wuda Cuda Shuda (2003)

I Love You Like A Brother

Fred Wesley has talked pretty openly about his troubled relationship with James Brown.  In this track he sings about one of the times they parted ways (ie. JB fired him).

Get Down Widcho Baad Self

The Ballad Of Beulah Baptist

 

Fred Wesley - www.beaveronthebeats.com

If I had to name just one musical genre as my favorite, funk might have to be it.  Fred Wesley has been an important part of the best of the funk music in history so far.   There’s not enough new funk music being made in this world – and I hope Fred Wesley has lots more of it to give us still.

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Comments

  1. What do you mean might? Funk is tha shit. if it ain’t funky, it’s not even anything. Listening to PFunk Radio at the moment.

    • Someone who knows the ins and outs of funk music – tell me then, did you know who Fred Wesley was? Every person I’ve asked so far, even professional jazz and funk musos, didn’t. What an injustice!

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