Happy Birthday Maceo Parker | Maceo With MMW 2006

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We’d like to wish a very happy 72nd birthday to legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker. Parker revolutionized funk with his work as a prominent soloist in James Brown’s bands during the ’60s and then again in the ’70s when he collaborated with Parliment and Bootsy Collins. To celebrate Maceo’s big day, let’s take the JamBase time machine back to the 2006 installment of the short-lived Vegoose music festival, which hosted a number of interesting collaborations over the course of Halloween weekend in Las Vegas including a set from avant-groove act Medeski Martin & Wood featuring Maceo Parker. The quartet performed an hour-long set at Sam Boyd Stadium on October 28 that can be viewed below.

[Photo by Dave Vann]

Here’s what we had to say about the set in our coverage of Vegoose 2006:

Maceo Parker – he of James Brown, Parliament and Prince fame – has made a career out of augmenting other people’s music. Nor was this Parker’s first foray into jamming with MMW – he’d done so six years prior at a festival date in Maryland. But it was the ease with which the consummate sideman slid right into the trio’s set on Saturday at Vegoose that made it feel as if he’d been playing with them all along. Beginning with “The Lover” off 1995’s Friday Afternoon in the Universe, Parker peppered MMW’s set with alto saxophone and flute solos that escalated the musical tension onstage and provided Medeski and Wood with opportunities to exchange riffs and improvise. In return for his horn magic, MMW backed Parker on two choice covers from his own catalogue – “Uptown Up” off 2002’s Funk Overload and “Quick Step” from 2003’s Made by Maceo. The covers continued with a jazz-funk version of Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” that was met with billowing clouds of stanky smoke emanating from the growing audience before the group ended their set with a fantastic version of “Chubb Sub” off Friday Afternoon in the Universe, bringing the set full circle to where it started an hour before.

Take a look at MMW + Maceo Parker’s collaboration at Vegoose ’06:

1. New Planet (without Maceo)
2. The Lover
3. Pappy Check
4. Uptown Up
5. Think
6. Legalize It
7. Quick Step
8. Bass Solo -Chubb Sub

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