Maceo (1994)

Maceo Parker

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Track Listing:

Cold Sweat {James Brown, Alfred Ellis}  9:00
Knock On Wood {Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd}  4:15
New Moon {A Ellis}  7:24
House Party {Fred Wesley}  7:29
New Song {Maceo Parker}  4:56
Do Right Woman - Do Right Man {D Penn, C Moman}  4:22
Chameleon {Herbie Hancock}  10:34
Make It Funky/Funky Good Time/There Was A Time 
	{J Brown, B Hobgood, C Bobbit}  14:53
C Jam Funk {G Clinton, B Collins, M Parker}  11:50


Producer: Stephan Meyner
Vocals: Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis
Vocals on "C Jam Funk": George Clinton, Kym Mazelle
Vocals on "Knock On Wood": Kym Mazelle
Alto Saxophone: Maceo Parker
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Tenor Saxophone: Pee Wee Ellis
Organ: Will Boulware
Guitar: Bruno Speight
Bass: Jerry Preston
Drums: Jamal Thomas
Horns on "Chameleon": Rebirth Brass Band

Rating: RC: ****


TK: There is a vinyl version of this which features a longer version of "C Jam Funk".

RC: This was recorded in Hamburg, Germany on April 12-14, 1994. The CD is a soundtrack for a film about Maceo that was made in Germany. The performances and selections produce a vastly different feel than the classic Life On Planet Groove, but this doesn't diminish the album in any way. In fact, this album is every bit as good and varied. There are a few additional elements which help it get over the hump, like guest appearances by the Rebirth Brass Band and George Clinton. Maceo's band is also super-funky, many of them players who appeared on his New Orleans funk album, Southern Exposure. Again, there's something to please everyone here. There are several touches of P.Funk, James Brown, his own solo stuff, and big contributions from Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley. The covers range from the bizarre (70's pop hit "Knock On Wood") to the ultra-cool (Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon"). I think that this CD is a must for any P.Funk fan or Maceo fan. It may be hard to find, as it's a European import only right now, but shouldn't be nearly as expensive as Japanese imports.

The album starts off with a bang: James Brown's "Cold Sweat". This is a great version, deftly using horns to replace vocals at key points, and weaving in solos seamlessly. "Knock On Wood" is a really good cover, with soulful singing from guest Kym Mazelle. "New Moon" is a Pee Wee spotlight, but the best thing about the song is the interplay between Pee Wee and Maceo. It's laid-back and takes its time. "House Party" is a dynamic, hilarious Fred Wesley song. Fred does the lead vocals, egging on the funky bass playing and good-time feel of the song. "New Song" is in actuality "Love Munch", a song from the 1980 Sweat Band album. One of my favorite songs on that disc, it's equally excellent here, a Maceo spotlight song. It has a nice latin beat with a steady groove. "Do Right Woman..." is a mellow soul cover. "Chameleon" is a truly excellent cover, featuring the Rebirth Brass Band doing their thang with Maceo & Co. Things heat up on the last two cuts, with "Make It Funky" a long, winding funk jam. Pee Wee takes an especially notable solo, with Maceo going berserk at other times. They work in a bit of "Flash Light" here. "C Jam Funk" is also super funky, with George Clinton growling out some vocals, and the band doing a long take on "Standing On The Verge..." and "Pumpin' It Up".