REVIEW: Maceo Parker Keeps Things Warm at The Montreal Jazz Festival

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Tuesday November 01, 2011

from Jazz Times

The Montreal Jazz Festival: Jazz All Year Round
SFJAZZ Collective, Ari Hoenig and Maceo Parker keep things warm up north
By Sharonne Cohen

Maceo Parker: Funk All the Way

‘Is this a jazz festival?’ asked Maceo Parker as he greeted a hyped crowd at the jam-packed L’Astral. ‘Two percent!’ yelled back an audience member. ‘Well, we’re gonna play 2 percent jazz, and 98 percent funk!’ promised Parker, and that’s exactly what he delivered: nearly two hours of unbridled, booty-shaking funk. Nothing could have made this adoring audience’“a mix of 20-somethings, 60-somethings and everything in between’“any happier. They were there for the funk.

Montreal’s own DJ extraordinaire, Andy Couchman, opened for Parker with a set of choice funk and soul nuggets; Maceo soon followed, with a youthful energy far exceeding his 68 years. He was accompanied both by veterans (Rodney ‘Skeet’ Curtis on bass; William Boulware on keys; Bruno Speight on guitar) and young cats (nephew Marcus Parker on drums, and trumpeter Lee Hogans, who was mostly responsible for the 2 percent). Parker delivered some vintage funk, including the James Brown classics ‘Make it Funky’ and ‘Pass the Peas,’ sprinkling a bit of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ in between. In what was the evening’s highlight, backup singer Martha High of the James Brown Band killed Lyn Collins’ ’70s classic ‘Think (About It),’ her vocals as strong as ever. Towards the end of the show Parker channeled Ray Charles’“dark sunglasses, body swaying side to side’“and sang a verse of ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ melting the audience before bringing the funk back. ‘We love you! We love love! We love to love!’ called the funk master, and the crowd loved him back.

Read the full article here