Maceo Parker | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Maceo Parker



If James Brown is indeed the godfather of soul, then he couldn't have found a better consigliere than Maceo Parker, the alto saxist best known as leader of Brown's J.B. Horns. Maceo's sound practically oozes from the horn, and as straw boss he has been able to translate that to J.B.'s horn sections--which have left nearly as big a stamp on super-super-heavy funk as Brown's own squeals and grunts. Consequently, his charttopping album of last year, Roots Revisited--which also starred fellow J.B. Horns Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley--took jazz fans by surprise with its smooth harmonies, unadulterated solos, and jump-band rhythms that did the legacy of Louis Jordan proud. The success of Maceo's album has inspired the release of more albums by the J.B. Horns, who've had some time on their hands for the last couple years: Gramavision has issued a funkier, less jazz-based album by Parker, Ellis, and Wesley, while the Antilles label is set to release a jazzier, less funk-based album led by Wesley. All three players will be on hand next week, with the music falling somewhere in the middle, I imagine. Good God. Thursday, 7:30 and 10 PM, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662.

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