This summer, jazz bassist, Michael Bowie, ingeniously offered donors to his band’s — Sine Qua Non — upcoming CD, attendance to their recording session featuring iconic trombonist, Fred Wesley. With my Music Director, Lincoln Ross, being a trombonist and huge fan of Wesley, I went for Bowie’s offer. But quite honestly, my craziness for Parliament Funkadelic may have had something to do with the decision.
Fred Wesley is mostly known for playing jazz in the Count Basie Orchestra, soul with James Brown, and funk/R&B with Parliament Funkadelic. His autobiography, Hit Me Fred, is a great tell-all about his life as a prolific musician alongside these band leaders. Lincoln was sorry that he had loaned out his book and was unable to have it autographed. But others who came to the session had their books in tow.
Bowie also allowed donors to add party crowd vocals to the Fred Wesley/Sine Qua Non track. So the fun afternoon was filled with the Bowie family, Wesley family, and band members’ families. It was such a pleasure to meet, eat with, and sing along with Bowie’s mom, Wesley’s daughters and grandson, and several others. And being at Cue Recording Studios with engineer, Ken Schubert, made it even more enjoyable.
Not long after the session, the new James Brown movie, Get On Up, was released in theaters, and audiences got an inkling of Brown’s take (or the writer’s take) on Wesley. So what’s Fred Wesley up to now? Visit his website Where’s Fred?
As for getting the jazzy funky track from this recording session, keep an eye out for Sine Qua Non’s forthcoming album Of The People.