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98% Funky Saxophonist Maceo Parker

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Wednesday August 28, 2013

From The Victoria Times Columnist

98% funky saxophonist Maceo still blowing his horn
By: Adrian Chamberlain

Maceo Parker was just out of college when his brother smooth-talked their way into James Brown’s band.

The funk/soul saxophonist — who played with Brown in the 1960s and ’70s — soon became a glittering star in the James Brown universe. Typically, Brown would yell “Maceo! Blow your horn!”

And he would.

Parker, who brings his eight-piece funk band to Victoria tonight, recalled it was his drummer brother, Melvin Parker, who was originally invited to join Brown’s band in the early 1960s.

Brown had caught Melvin’s band in performance and was impressed. The Godfather of Soul introduced himself and invited the young drummer — then still in college — to join his band when he finished his education.

One year later, with Maceo in tow, Melvin approached James Brown to remind him of his handshake and promise. “And then he said, ‘Oh yeah, Mr. Brown. This is my brother. He’s a saxophone player. He needs a job, too.”

Brown asked Maceo if he played baritone saxophone. Yes, said Maceo, who’d only tinkered with the instrument in high school. Then he asked him if he owned a baritone. Maceo did not.

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