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Maceo Parker Brings The Funk

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Friday June 17, 2016

From Houston Press

Maceo Parker Brings The Funk To Houston’s Juneteenth Celebration
By: William Michael Smith

With long stints in James Brown’s band as well as George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, Maceo Parker, who leads an all-star band headlining Sunday’s Juneteenth celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre, is one of the most storied and respected saxophonists in the country. After thousands of gigs and a mind-boggling list of recording collaborations as well as his own records, the 71-year old North Carolina native still sounds like he can’t wait to get in the van and do it all again.

An originator of the infectious musical form we call funk, Parker perfected a style frequently described as percussive rather than melodic. According to Parker, Brown’s abilities as a dancer drove the band to develop the driving sound that began to be called funk.

“James was such a great dancer that he needed a sound that accentuated that aspect of his talent,” Parker explains from his home in Kinston, North Carolina, where his mother resides. “James needed songs to dance to and we just kept tightening up our sound, hitting hard on the down beat. We just developed our own sound, you know.”

As far as his own influences, Parker has a quick answer: “Everybody.”

To read the full interview click here