Maceo Parker is synonymous with Funk. Over the course of his extensive musical career, he has played with each and every leader of the genre, from the very start with James Brown, which Maceo himself describes as “like being at University”, to jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton, and his participation on Prince’s tours. He’s the pulse which maintains the vital consistency of Funk.
For the last two decades Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career, building a new funk empire; one that is both fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly between James 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 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 funk. His legendary sound dates back to the 1960’s when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky-soul funk train. To most musicologists it’s the James Brown’s band who are recognized as the early pioneers of modern funk and hip-hop, whose sounds we still jump to in the present day.
Maceo grew to become the lynch-pin of the James Brown enclave for the best part of two decades. His style helped define James’ brand of funk, and the phrase: “Maceo, I want you to Blow!” passed into the language. He’s still the most sampled musician around simply because of the unique quality of his sound.
In the mid ’70s Maceo hooked up with George Clinton, and the various incarnations of Funkadelic, Parliament & Bootsy Collins. And in 1990 the opportunity came for Maceo to concentrate on his own projects. He released two successful solo albums: Roots Revisited (which spent 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Jazz Charts in 1990) and Mo’ Roots (1991). But it was his third solo album, Maceo’s ground breaking CD Life on Planet Groove, recorded live in 1992 which soon became a funk fan favorite.
In the year 1999 Maceo began participating in some of Prince’s groundbreaking tours when not on the road with his own group, and continues to do so as a special guest when his own schedule allows.
The albums Funk Overload, Dial M-A-C-E-O and Made by Maceo entered the top 40 in the European charts, and featured guest spots from the artists Ani DiFranco, Prince, and James Taylor. At the beginning of 2007 Maceo had a chance to fulfill one of his dreams: working with a Big Band, the Grammy Award Winners WDR Big Band from Cologne, Germany.
Maceo Parker: Sax, flute & vocals.
Greg Boyer: Trombone.
Will Boulware: Keys.
Bruno Speight: Guitar.
Rodney Skeet Curtis: Bass.
Nikki Glaspie: Drums.
Darliene Parker: Vocals.