Quite simply, there is no better living showman than Maceo Parker. Catching one of the alto sax maestro's marathon three-hour shows is a truly transcendent experience for any fan of funk, jazz, hip-hop, R&B and soul: His performances are never disappointing, always worth the money, and a funky, funky good time. Parker started out playing with James Brown in 1964, moonlighted with George Clinton's various projects and began fronting his own band in 1990; his 1992 live CD, Life on Planet Groove, still stands as one of the funkiest records ever. The 62-year-old veteran's recent studio albums, such as the just-released School's In!, have sometimes been tepid, funk-lite affairs that veer dangerously close to smooth jazz; but live, Parker leads a phenomenal band -- including his MC son, Corey -- through the most entertaining, sincere, butt-sweat-inducing shows imaginable.
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