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Maceo Parker Delivers Tale of Bicoastal Funk

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Wednesday March 02, 2011

from Honest Tune

Maceo Parker delivers tale of bicoastal funk to two cities
By Barry Rosenberg and Jenna Stecker

On a recent night in St. Charles, Illinois, Maceo Parker’s two sets felt like a real family affair, with the members of the band taking the stage one by one. It was a glorious gig, with the band receiving an enormous roar of applause at the beginning of the set and upon leaving the stage after their final song.It didn’t take long for the encore to turn into a real party; playing “Pass the Peas” will do that.

But what makes Maceo Parker stand out? Many acts can cause a party to manifest itself. On this night, it was not just the intensity of the musical ideas that seemed to be burning off of him, but the fact that they were played with a kind of sixth sense that allowed him to play the changes off the top of the modulation – more or less before it had even happened.

Parker is a legendary figure of funk. He has studied with and taught the best. His level of funk is the type many can only fathom ever being able to achieve. On this night, the music was moody – not just as in mysterious or calm, but moody as in that it filled all of the needs of funk. The soloists swung between musical extremes of soft/loud, high/low, sharp/smooth, and few notes/many notes. They never once lacked in the creation of intense drama. Each piece was full of great musical passages from every musician on stage. The longer a song was extended, more and more attention was given to extra development and drama, not just jamming for the sake of jam.

Read the full article here