Smunk Man

From the JBs to Van Morrison, Pee Wee Ellis continues to do his thing

When he's not hunting down bootleggers, Ellis is hard at work in the laboratory, making "smunk." "The smunk can go as far as I'm able to take it," he says. "I'm just trying it out. When I get to Florida I'm gonna test it." He's also courting the possibility of a reunion record with Brown and his fellow JB horns Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. "James and I talk on the phone once or twice a year. There's a rumor that he's gonna do a record in LA with us." He pauses and chuckles. "But there are many rumors. Hopefully, this one will happen. The time is right."

Pee Wee Ellis: Songwriter for James Brown, arranger for Van Morrison, and inventor of smooth funk
Courtesy of KCC Productions
Pee Wee Ellis: Songwriter for James Brown, arranger for Van Morrison, and inventor of smooth funk

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