Juma's Archive


China Doll

Leon Thomas

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Studio Rivbea, NYC, 1973 – 9:11
  • Leon Thomas - vocals
  • Neal Creque – piano
  • Pee Wee Ellis – sax
  • John Blair – vitar
  • Benny Wilson – bass
  • Baba Feme – conga
  • Jesse “Cheese” Kilpatrick – drums

“China Doll” was written by drummer Jesse “Cheese” Kilpatrick and saxaphonist, Pee Wee Ellis, the latter of whom played a major role for the classic James Brown bands of the late 60’s.

From 1965 to 1969 Pee Wee Ellis wrote or co-wrote some of Brown’s defining tunes, such as “Cold Sweat,” “Lickin’ Stick,” and “Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud).” Pee Wee went on to play with many blues, rock, and jazz performers, including Brother Jack McDuff, Dave Liebman, George Benson, and Van Morrison.

Benny Wilson appears on the seminal Wildflowers: Loft Jazz New York 1976 with Olu Dara, Byard Lancaster, Don Moye, and Sonelius Smith.

This performance was recorded for the 1973 Five Boroughs New York Musicans Jazz Festival.