“I had the privilege of seeing [Parker] perform with Prince in an intimate setting. The 68-year-old soul king...is still awesome, able to ratchet up the funk like nobody else in the business.” --Jim Harrington, San Jose Mercury News
“Maceo Parker is a funk titan. His body of work is as important to the genre as those belonging to James Brown, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, all of who have collaborated with Parker...Parker must be regarded as simply one of the all-time great saxophonists….” --San Jose Mercury News
It is almost impossible to separate which came first, Maceo or the funk. Maceo grew to become the lynchpin of the James Brown enclave for the best part of two decades before he jumbed aboard the Mothership with George Clinton and with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. His signature style helped define James' brand of funk, and the phrase: "Maceo, I want you to Blow!" passed into the language. He’s still the most sampled musician around simply because of the unique quality of his sound.
In 1990 the opportunity came for Maceo to concentrate on his own projects. He released two successful solo albums entitled Roots Revisited (which spent 10 weeks at the top of Billboard's Jazz Charts in 1990) and Mo' Roots (1991). But it was his third solo album, Maceo’s ground breaking CD Life on Planet Groove, recorded live in 1992, which soon became a funk fan favorite. Planet Groove also served as a calling card, boosting Maceo's contemporary career as a solo artist for a college aged audience, and bringing into being his catch phrase "2% Jazz, 98% Funky Stuff."
In 2003, after several years as Band Leader for the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Awards Maceo received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation for his contribution as a sideman to the genre of R & B.
He has also since 1999 participated in some of Prince's groundbreaking tours when not with his own group.
Maceo's albums Funk Overload, Dial M-A-C-E-O and Made by Maceo entered the top 40 in the European charts upon release.
At the beginning of 2007 Maceo had a chance to fulfill one of his dreams in working with a Big Band. Working with Grammy Award Winners the WDR Big Band, he broadcast and performed a live series of shows paying tribute to Ray Charles and putting Maceo’s own funky music to a Big Band setting.