There’s a decent chance you haven’t heard of the 70-year-old North Carolina-born saxophonist Maceo Parker. He’s one of those less well-known talents who’s backed more well-known acts throughout the years – in this case, James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Keith Richards, and Prince (amongst others). He bridged the gap between late 60s/early 70s Funk with James Brown and late 70s/early 80s Funk with P-Funk.
I had the pleasure of seeing him play the sax and sing with his full band (trombonist, drummer, bassist, keyboardist and two backup singers) this past Friday on Martha’s Vineyard, and it was a blast. The 34 year old venue has gone through a lot of changes throughout the years. It was initially owned by Carly Simon (who has a big presence on the island) and called the Hot Tin Roof (from 1979 to 2006), then it was Outerland, then it was Nectar’s, and now it’s Flatbread (related to the pizza place in Burlington, VT) with shows by Nectar’s Presents. The place has a lot of history and personality and luckily has barely changed other than in name. It’s seen the likes of Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Toots and the Maytals, Taj Mahal and many others, including Maceo who has last played there in 2000.
Maceo and his band brought an old school kind of class to the show with their suits and coordinated dance moves. He’s a true class act. Check out some of his best work in the videos below.
Maceo Parker – “Shake Everything You Got”
James Brown’s “Make It Funky” with Trombone Shorty
Parliament Funkadelic’s “Atomic Dog” – great solo from Maceo Parker