- Audio CD (29 May 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Minor Music
- ASIN: B00002459E
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Life on Planet Groove
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Maceo Parker - (alto sax, vocals), Fred Wesley - (trombone, vocals), Candy Dulfer - (alto sax), Larry Goldings - (organ, Hammond organ), Vincent Henry - (alto sax, bass, bass guitar), Rodney Jones - (guitar), Pee Wee Ellis - (flute, tenor sax, vocals), Kym Mazelle - (vocals), Kenwood Dennard - (drums)
Top Customer Reviews
Recorded from a European tour, this album contains classic grooves and outstanding musicianship - put simply, every track is a winner.
The opener, shake everything you've got, is a 14+ minute workout, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Even the slower numbers continue to ooze pure funk.
Apart from the obvious appeal of Mr Parker & friends blowing, just listen to the drums - solid but imaginative all the way through.
A great discovery, now the only thing missing is a live performance.
If you don't like some heavy / screaming sax, this might not be for you , but if you do and do not already own it all I can say is : get it.
I've been listening to it for 20 years, yet it still sounds fresh and gives me happy feelings all over.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When the party is cooking, however, you can smell the down home spices wafting from your stereo speakers. 'Shake Everything You've Got' is neither a suggestion nor a demand. It is a command, one that I defy anyone to disobey. The horns are tight, the bass moves beautifully, and Maceo is a king MC, working the crowd in a great example of call-and-response interplay. The song's most glorious section comes when Maceo asks the crowd to "give the drummer some (give it to the funky drummer)". One of the many references to Maceo's first funk godfather -- James Brown -- it sets drummer Kenwood Dennard on a ridiculous funky solo. Maceo and his sax eventually join in, and the results are transcendent. Listen to Maceo's horn rise in pitch and energy, whipping the audience into a frenzy until they can't stand it anymore. When the main groove bursts back in, the place erupts. A truly cathartic moment.
'Pass the Peas' takes 'Shake's momentum, and cranks it up a notch. A song of quicker tempo, it features the ultimate in energetic grooves. Here, Maceo pays homage to his other funk godfather, George Clinton. At one point, he quotes lyrics from half a dozen Parliament songs, most notably the famous refrain: "Make my funk the P-Funk/I want my funk uncut/Make my funk the P-Funk/I want to get funked up..."
Then comes a cover of Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)". Maceo played on the original version, and should have left it at that. Kym Mazelle, who does vocal duty, is way too over the top. She reminds me of a technically proficient Tina Turner, a singer whose voice I never liked. The next three songs are nondescript ballads. The band manages a noble effort on these, but it really derails the party. 'Georgia On My Mind' follows them, and is a stunning version of that Hoagy Carmichael classic. Maceo (at least I think it's him on this one) does a credible Ray Charles impression in his vocal, and later introduces the band (for I think the third time!) so each can take a manic, energetic solo; my favourite being Rodney Jones' busy, jangly, and jazzy guitar break.
The final song on the album, 'Soul Power '92', returns to the party form established by the first two songs. It's another up-tempo groover, featuring Maceo's simpatico call-and-response style with the audience, and some tight (or rather TIGHT!) horn playing. Should be noted that the horn section contains such notable James Brown alumnus as Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis and the great Fred Wesley on trombone. Wesley gets several solos here, each of full tone and funky rhythm.
Maceo is a great saxophonist. In fact, he's one of those players who's tone and style you recognize immediately. It's funky and huge. And on the party jams here, he leads his band through some serious pure and uncut funk. The recording is masterful, the band sounds great, and the audience seems willing to follow them wherever they go. I just wish he'd left the ballads in the dressing room. Otherwise, this would have been a perfect album.
Any drummers here? There's enough tight licks to send you to the woodshed to practice for a decade. Almost every backbeat sends chills down my spine.
This album is truly a testament to instrumental musicians. Everybody plays their part, nobody steps on anyone else, each musician inspires the others to play their best, and the result is a sublime collective whole. Machines will never groove as hard humans, and this album is proof.
I'm on my third copy in over a decade, the CDs just can't seem to hold up to the amount of times I play them.