Maceo Parker

"We like to do 2 percent jazz and 98 percent funky stuff," proclaimed Maceo Parker on his 1992 live album, Life on Planet Groove. Sure, he's a deft jazz player, but when it comes to funk and R&B sax, Parker is the king. After honing his chops in James Brown's group and with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, Parker kicked his solo career into high gear with 1990's Roots Revisited. On his latest double-disc live album, Roots and Grooves, Parker pays tribute to one of his biggest musical influences, Ray Charles. The first disc finds the alto saxophonist and the WDR Big Band swinging on a number of tunes Charles made famous, like "Hallelujah, I Love Her So," "Busted" and "Hit the Road Jack." The second disc shows Parker digging deep into the funky stuff on his own tunes, as well as his rendition of Brown's "Pass the Peas," both of which will leave you saying, "It's too funky in here."


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