Happy Birthday Maceo Parker

February 14, 1943

A tribute to the funky alto saxophonist

Alto-saxophonist Maceo Parker was born on February 14, 1943 in Kinston, North Carolina.

He grew up in a musical family and played some obscure musical jobs before gaining fame for his association with James Brown during 1964-70.

In 1970, Parker left Brown to form Maceo & All the King’s Men before rejoining Brown for two additional years (1973-75); the altoist was an integral part of Brown’s sound during his stints and, while he could play jazz, r&b, soul and funk were always his main interests.

Parker switched allegiances during 1975-83 when he joined George Clinton in Parliament-Funkadelic; he was back with Brown during 1984-88.

Maceo Parker began seriously leading his own groups in 1990 and since then has primarily been heard as a leader (heading at least a dozen albums) other than occasional all-star dates with Brown alumni, a few special concerts with Prince, and a tour in which he led the Ray Charles Orchestra, mostly singing in a style strongly influenced by Charles.

He is featured in a full set with his band at the 2003 International Jazzwoche Burghausen Festival in Germany.


Maceo Parker, alto sax & vocals
Ron Tooley, trumpet
Greg Boyer, trombone
Corey Parker, vocals
Will Boulware, organ & keyboards
Bruno Speight, guitar
Rodney Curtis, bass
Jamal Thomas, drums
Martha High, vocals
Charles Sherrell, vocals

Set List:

1 “Gimme Some More”
2 “Uptown Up” 
3 “Baby Knows” 
4 “There Was a Time”
5 “My Love / Hey Jude”

-Scott Yanow


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