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Maceo Parker: a Performance to Remember

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Monday June 23, 2014

From The Sun Break

Live Show Review: Maceo Parker at Jazz Alley
By: Royal Stuart

If you live in Seattle, I’d like to apologize up front for the feelings of despair and depression that you will surely feel at the end of this article. You see, you missed legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker performing with his exceedingly stellar band at Jazz Alley this past weekend.

A quick history: James Brown, George Clinton / Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Prince. These artists have all chosen Maceo as their side man, leading the horn sections and defining the sound for many funky songs you’re very familiar with (such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)”). James Brown can be heard in many recordings shouting “Maceo, I want you to Blow!” He is a giant of the saxophone.

At 71, Maceo is still a consummate performer. He and his super-tight band — Dennis Rollins on trombone, Will Boulware on keyboards, Bruno Speight on guitar, Rodney “Skeet” Curtis on bass, Marcus Parker (son of Maceo’s brother and long-time drumming partner Melvin) on drums, Martha High singing backup and Corey Parker (Maceo’s cousin) singing backup as well — brought a rare form of magic to the stage, that kind of magic that lifts you up and makes you smile uncontrollably. These people were born to be on the stage, performing for us. And they are enjoying the hell out of it, playing off of each other, joking, having so much fun that you can’t help but be roped in. It is equal parts endearing and exciting in its execution; you wish you enjoyed your job half as much as this group clearly does.

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