Happy 69th to Maceo Parker – alto, tenor and baritone sax player for James Brown, the JB's, Parliament/Funkadelic and as a solo artist. "Maceo! Blow your horn!" That's how James Brown would dynamically signal his favorite horn player to take another stinging sax solo -- and Maceo Parker never once let his boss down. Parker's jabbing workouts in the midst of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Cold Sweat" made him a household name among '60s funk fans -- not bad for a kid fresh out of college who got the gig primarily because Brown coveted his brother Melvin's drumming chops.
Maceo was to headline a tribute to Clarence Clemons on Sunday's Grammy Awards. The tribute was pushed aside to to “honor” Whitney Houston. This birthday provides the opportunity to honor one of the pillars of funk. Here is just a taste of what Maceo did.
A number of classic James Brown concerts are available on the web. At the 2:30 mark, Maceo rips loose on “Papa's Got a Brand New Bag'” from a '67 concert at the Olympia in Paris.
In 1968 at the Boston Garden, Maceo heats up “Cold Sweat” at 3:00.
Prince and Maceo "Make it Funky."