Maceo Parker

Southern Exposure

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    9
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Maceo Parker, best-known for his R&B recordings with and without James Brown, plays strictly jazz on his Novus CD and he is in peak form. Parker's alto sounds close to Hank Crawford at times but with a phrasing of his own. On this well-rounded and consistently memorable release, Parker sticks mostly to funky blues but is also impressive on a boppish version of "The Way You Look Tonight." He splits his time between fronting an organ combo, leading a reunion with fellow Brown alumni trombonist Fred Wesley and tenor-saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, and on two songs he is joined by the enthuisastic Rebirth Brass Band. Parker only takes one vocal so the emphasis throughout is on his soulful alto, making this among his most rewarding jazz recordings.

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