Maceo Parker - his name is synonymous with funky music, his pedigree impeccable, his band, the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.
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 the funk. The amazing P-funk Parker has been at it with his legendary sound for time that dates back to the 1960's. That's when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky soul funk train.
Maceo grew to become the lynch-pin of the James Brown enclave for the best part of two decades. He's still the most sampled musician around simply because of the unique quality of his sound. There would be other projects and short hiatuses during his on-off time with The Godfather, including a brief spell overseas when he was drafted, and in 1970 when he left to form Maceo and All the Kings Men with some fellow James Brown band members.
It was Maceo's uncle, the front man for the Blue Notes, who was Maceo's first musical mentor. The three Parker brothers (Maceo, Melvin and trombonist Kellis) formed the "Junior Blue Notes." When Maceo reached the sixth grade the Junior Blue Notes were brought by their Uncle to perform in between sets at his nightclub engagements. It was Maceo's first experience of the stage and one that started his love affair with performing, a love which has increased rather than diminished with time.
Maceo grew up admiring saxophonists such as David "Fathead" Newman, Cannonball Adderley and King Curtis. "I was crazy about Ray Charles and all his band, and of course particularly the horn players." By the age of 15, Maceo had forged his own style on the tenor sax.
In 1990 the opportunity came for Maceo to concentrate on his own projects, and so began Maceo's relentless headlining touring. Bringing his top notch, road-tight band and superlong shows to people all over the world. "I feel it's my duty as an artist to go as many places as I can, especially if the people want it." says soft spoken North Carolina native. He doesn't come out on stage in a velvet swirling cape, no giant spaceships or 50 person entourages, nothing except the core of his musical soul which he lays open every time he blows his horn.
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