Maceo Parker – Roots Revisited (1990)

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Call this one, Mo’ Maceo.

If you like Maceo Parker, get your hands on Roots Revisited; it’s good, organic funky soul covering classic tunes by giants like Ray Charles (“Them That Got”), Charles Mingus (“Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul”) and Sly Stone (“In Time”).

“Children’s World”, a slight reworking of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World”, was the song that made me go out and buy the CD in the first place. Fred and Pee Wee are on this album, as well as Don Pullen, Bill Stewart and Bootsy Collins, an old friend from Parker’s days around P-Funk.

Pullen, who probably should have been represented on an overlooked jazz pianist list here, reveals himself to be a most capable B-3 player as well, serving up the grease by the ladle-fulls. Stewart, who was virtually unknown at the time of this 1990 release, is a world-class drummer, perhaps one of the very finest today. And we all know what Bootsy can do.

But the real star here is the triple threat horn lineup of Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis. They are loose and very much in tune to each other. Maceo’s alto sometimes recalls another Parker, but while the Bird could fly higher, Maceo’s grits-‘n’-gravy appeals to the heart and feet as well as the mind.

Maceo Parker recorded Roots Revisited, his first solo album in 15 years, because his employer at the time got thrown in jail on drugs and weapons charges; suddenly, he had time on his hands. So it can be said that something good did come out of James Browns’ legal problems.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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