Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.
Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as “ like being at University “; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse that connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher that unravels dance music down to its core.
“Everything’s coming up Maceo,” concluded DownBeat Magazine in a 1991 article at the beginning of Maceo Parker’s solo career. At the time Maceo was remembered by aficionados of funk music as sideman; appreciated mainly by those in the know. More than a decade and a half later Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career. For the past sixteen years Maceo has been building a new funk empire, fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly betweenJames Brown’s 1960’s soul and George Clinton’s 1970’s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop.
His collaborations over the years performing or recording or both have included Ray Charles,Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.His timeless sound has garnered him a fresh young fan base.
It is almost impossible to separate which came first, Maceo or the funk. The amazing P-funk Parker has been at it with his legendary alto horn for some time dating back to the 1960’s. That’s when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky soul funk train. It wasn’t long before James coined the solo summoning signature, “Maceo, I want you to Blow!”. To most musicologists it’s the musically fertile group of men from this period of James Brown’s band who are recognized as the early pioneers of the modern funk and hip-hop we still jump to today.
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