Maceo Parker and Fredericks Brown "Discover Jazz"

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Friday June 06, 2014

From The Burlington Free Press

Genre-hopping from Maceo Parker to Warren Wolf to Interpol
By: Brent Hallenbeck

…My next taste of music didn’t come until I got down to Waterfront Park at about 6:30 p.m., where on a cool, cloudy night I found lots of people getting down to Fredericks Brown. They’re a soulful group led by big-voiced singer Deva Mahal, the daughter of venerable musician Taj Mahal. I was looking forward to their set because I remember catching them at Grace Potter’s first Grand Point North festival when Fredericks Brown played for a small crowd on a side stage, and I and the handful of people there were blown away by Deva’s diva-like voice. This was a much bigger crowd beneath the tent at Waterfront Park, and I think pretty much everyone was blown away by the power of Deva Mahal’s voice. She’s a charismatic, enthusiastic performer who did her job perfectly, which was to psyche up the crowd for the main event, Maceo Parker.

For those of you who don’t know, Maceo Parker was the sax man behind the innovative sound of funkmeister James Brown, and he has also lent his considerable talents to the likes of Parliament-Funkadelic and Prince. Just like Deva Mahal he’s an engaging, hard-working performer who took the crowd’s energy and gave it right back to them. This is a guy who knows how to have fun on stage; riffing on the fact that he was playing at a jazz festival, he wondered why he was there considering he doesn’t play jazz. Then he broke into a jazzy sax solo that would have been satirical if it hadn’t been so good. He probably could have gone up to the Flynn Center after his funky waterfront gig and played a serious jazz show, and killed at both.

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