Maceo Parker – Blues Highlights
With Maceo Parker joining James Brown’s band in 1964, you have to say that their collaborations are legendary! These two guys were like two peas in a pod performing together on stage. And from an audience point of view, it’s mind-blowing! This particular track’s title is Soul Power ’74 is an instrumental version of Brown’s 1971 hit Soul Power. This performance is at the Ritz on 1/26/1986.
The musicians in the video that I recognize are Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Skunk Baxter on guitar with Charles Sharrell on bass? But trust me, James Brown could play a variety of instruments as well, but I think he likes being the front man dancing and grooving. Plus, he could easily pull off this part with the greatest of ease. For me, this video is the steppingstone of me loving jazz, funk, and the blues. Brown’s right-hand man was saxophonist Maceo Parker, who joins Brown’s band in 1964. Their collaborations, it’s fair to say, legendary. With “I Feel Good,” “Out of Sight,” “Papa’s Got a Brand-New Bag,” “Cold Sweat,” “Lickin’ Stick” and “Mother Popcorn.”
Surviving the 70s
While I love the idea of Maceo and George Clinton performing together, you know they were kindred spirits. Maceo at the time, is also feature performer in Parliament & Funkadelic as well as Bootsy Collins Rubber Band. Furthermore, still working with James brown. During this time, he’s all over the place performing finding inspiration and other things along the way. With everything he learned in the 70s, in 1990 Parker releases “Roots Revisited which kickstarts his solo career as well.
It’s also a huge hit by remaining #1 on the jazz charts for over 10 weeks. later, he starts to see a younger crowd coming to his shows. Mostly college age but it did garner him a nice following all over the world. Along the way, he’s played with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bryan Ferry, Keith Richards, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Prince whom he worked with on several albums. When I saw Maceo live, his performance was over the top and with a cool energy and connection. He’s truly a gem in the jazz world.
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