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Maceo Parker At the Blue Note, Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 Reviewed

404686_10151627200885761_1905442325_nMaceo! Maceo!

He was there. Where,you might ask?

Always just one funky Alto sax riff away from the center of the Sound.

It all started in 1964 when Maceo and his brother Melvin(a drummer) joined James Brown's band. It was the beginning of an almost 50 year journey that Has made Mr. Parker the "go to guy" for almost every Funk/groove kingpin for the last 4 generations. Iconic artists such as James Brown,George Clinton,Bootsy Collins,Keith Richards,The Red Hot Chili Peppers,Bill Laswell's Material,Living colour,Deee Lite, Dave Matthew's Band and Prince have all called on Maceo's Signature alto sax sound.

The Opening set of Mr. Parker's 3 night stand at N.Y.'S Legendary Blue Note was a crash course in the history of the funk. Backed by an outstanding band( featuring former P-FUNK bassist Rodney "Skeet" Curtis,Monster groove guitarist Bruno Speight,and Maceo's Nephew-drummer Marcus Parker) he took the stage with the cool confidence of a man carrying an important Legacy,a legacy that is finally starting to resonate with an ever growing "hipster-retro soul" youth culture.

It started with a medley  of funk classics("Papa's got a Brand new Bag","this funk is off the hook!","Mother ship Connection","Night of the thumpasaurus People" to name a few),but it was arranged and presented in a fresh and inviting style. Maceo and the band referenced  signature vocal hooks from these classic jams throughout an original composition to give the feeling of a story being told. The start of a never ending journey.  

New arrangements of  "Make it Funky",an Original Composition(featuring Guitarist Bruno Speight),Lynn Collins Classic"Think"(sung by backing vocalist Martha High),and a high energy version of the JB's good time party Jam "Pass the Peas" mixed with Originals  rounded out the rest of Mr. Parker's. enjoyable set.

It was simply an evening of great music,performed by one of the living legends of the genre. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Parker's Fiery funk around to uplift and inspire us.

After all, he was there when the torch was lit.

(Tomas Doncker is the owner of Global Soul pioneering label True Groove Records)

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