Maceo Parker (alto sax), Fred Wesley (trombone), Pee Wee Ellis (tenor sax), Rudolph Isley (guitar), Will Boulware (organ), Carroll Dashiell (bass), and Melvin Parker (drums) play "Cold Sweat" at Lugano Jazz Festival.
Maceo Parker born on February 14, 1943 in Kinston, North Carolina. The funk and soul jazz saxophonist is best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s, as well as Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s. Parker was a prominent soloist on many of Brown's hit recordings, and a key part of his band, playing alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. Since the early 1990s, he has toured continuously under his own name.
His father played piano and drums; his mother and father both sang in church. His brother Melvin played drums and his brother Kellis trombone. He and his brother Melvin joined James Brown in 1964; in his autobiography, Brown says that he originally wanted Melvin as his drummer, but agreed to take Maceo under his wing as part of the deal. In 1970 Parker, his brother Melvin, and a few of Brown's band members left to found Maceo & All the King's Men, which toured for two years.
In 1974, Parker returned to James Brown. He also charted a single "Parrty - Part I" (#71 pop singles) with Maceo & the Macks that year. In 1975, Parker and some of Brown's band members, including Fred Wesley, left to join George Clinton's band Parliament-Funkadelic. Parker once again re-joined James Brown from 1984 to 1988.
In the 1990s, Parker began a solo career. To date, he has released eleven solo albums since 1990. His band has been billed as "the greatest little funk orchestra on earth" and the "million dollar support band."
In 1993, Parker made guest appearances on hip hop group De La Soul's album Buhloone Mindstate. In the late 1990s, Parker began contributing semi-regularly to recordings by Prince and accompanying his band, The New Power Generation, on tour. He also played on the Jane's Addiction track "My Cat's Name Is Maceo" for their 1997 compilation album Kettle Whistle. In 1998, Parker performed as a guest on "What Would You Say" on a Dave Matthews Band concert which also became one of their live albums, Live in Chicago 12.19.98.
Parker's album Roots & Grooves with the WDR Big Band is a tribute to Ray Charles, whom Parker cites as one of his most important influences. The album won a Jammie for best Jazz Album in 2009. Parker followed this up with another collaboration with WDR Big Band in 2012 with the album "Soul Classics"
In October 2011, Parker was inducted in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
He continues touring throughout the world, headlining many jazz festivals in Europe.