Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/4/30
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Wesley’s distinctive sound reverberates through rap and hip-hop music today. In Hit Me, Fred, he recalls the many musicians whose influence he absorbed, beginning with his grandmother and father—both music teachers—and including mentors in his southern Alabama hometown and members of the Army band. In addition to the skills he developed working with James Brown, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and the many talented musicians in their milieu, Wesley describes the evolution of his trombone playing through stints with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Hank Ballard, and Count Basie’s band. He also recounts his education in the music business, particularly through his work in Los Angeles recording sessions.
Wesley is a virtuoso storyteller, whether he's describing the electric rush of performances when the whole band is in the groove, the difficulties of trying to make a living as a rhythm and blues musician, or the frustrations often felt by sidemen. Hit Me, Fred is Wesley’s story of music-making in all its grit and glory.
"[Fred Wesley is] one of the most influential instrumentalist/composer/arrangers in the annals of R&B, soul-jazz, and hip-hop . . . [and] one of the most sampled musicians in the world today."--Timothy White "Billboard "
"In his autobiography Hit Me, Fred, Mr. Wesley talks about dancing around the continent-size ego of James Brown. He juxtaposes the courtliness of the South against the hardscrabble desperation of poverty, mentioning the hideous conditions that created Brown though understanding that nothing could explain his boss's monstrous behavior."--Elvis Mitchell "The New York Times "
"[T]he book reads easily--it sounds like Fred's telling you all this over a plate of rice 'n' ribs. . . . When James [Brown] and George [Clinton] are long gone, the music they brought to life between 1967 and 1977 will still be tearing the roof off the sucker--and Fred Wesley was an indispensable part of that revolution."--Dan Warburton "Signal to Noise "
"As passionately crafted as one of his solos, Hit Me, Fred becomes a shout-out to all sidemen who play their hearts out--just outside the spotlight. As a musician, Wesley could always capture the feverish moment. Now, as a storyteller, he has revealed yet another way to take us higher."--Boston Globe
"[A] remarkable autobiography. . . . This candid and hilarious account of working alongside James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic, and on his own, should solidify [Wesley's] reputation as much as the music he created."--Down Beat
I still don't understand "eeeeahhhh" after reading this book...but I now have the most balanced and descriptive tome on b-Soul-Funk-Super Funk, by the Master of the Super Heavy Funk. No Super Heavy Funk without Trombonist Wesley. And big question: would James Brown have transformed into a vaunted *Album* Artist without Mr. Wesley?
The James Brown Musical family reunites here for a james Brown House Party...and all the dysfuction that any family has.
Would have loved some penetrating, personal perspective on the many 45s and albums in Fred was heavily involved. (Though he goes deep on the highly successful movie soundtracks...which *he* basically produced, getting himself fired). We are treated to a fairly extensive Wesley discography. A nice add-on would have been, in this age of star-ratings, said values ascribed to the many titles which hit the bins and now the "web".
Haven't finished this Master Course on Modern Music..and on a "sideman" who stood up front with a King. So great, in addition, that Fred wrote this book with no "help", in the form of "as told to", or "with" [so and so].
Maybe Fred had enough "help" in his career!
Here we have the penultimate "sideman" taking up the pen and delivering anutha mutha. But the opinionated artist-author does not explain how James Brown, the Super Bad Sex Machine, is a...."sissy"? What were all those audience screams about? :)
But later for that. Buy this book. Read this book. Pass The Peas.
[Book comes with a well-produced CD of 12 cuts of Wesley, live and studio].
My husband bought this book because he's a big fan of Fred Wesley and he loves jazz and funk.
I picked the book up to glance at the pictures and I was hooked. You don't have to be a music fan to love this book
It was like reading a great story. There was an inside look at a world that most people only see the most public part of.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a book that they just can't put down.