Pee Wee Ellis & Esther Phillips • Black Eyed Blues
In July 1973 ESTHER PHILLIPS recorded the album BLACK-EYED BLUES, at the legendary Rudy Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey. PEE WEE arranged and conducted the album, also playing alto sax on the title track. This was the third of seven records Esther and Pee Wee made together in the 1970’s, (five at KUDU/CTI, two at Mercury Records). Three of these albums were nominated for Grammy Awards. He was also Musical Director of her band, who toured widely in America and Europe, including an appearance at Montreux Jazz Festival in 1978. Pee Wee greatly admired not only Esther‘s artistry, but also her tenacity in sustaining a musical career through many setbacks.