While Maceo Parker is known around the world for his signature alto sax sound - an instantly recognizable blast of rhythmically-charged soul - he has never before been heard fronting a big band. The former James Brown sideman and P-Funk all-star rises to that challenge on `Roots & Grooves', his triumphant collaboration with Germany's WDR Big Band Cologne.
Recorded live on tour in Europe in February and March 2007, this dynamic two-CD set captures the iconic sax man in concert with the acclaimed 18-piece band, under the direction of arranger Michael Abene. On the first disc, they pay tribute to Ray Charles with lush orchestrations of Charles classics like "What'd I Say," "Hit The Road Jack," "I'm Busted" and "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." The second disc, which features the slamming rhythm tandem of drummer Dennis Chambers (formerly of P-Funk, currently of Santana) and bassist Rodney "Skeet" Curtis (formerly of P-Funk and Maceo's own band), consists of expanded big band renditions of Maceo originals, including "Off The Hook," "Uptown Up," "Shake Everything You Got" and his early `70s funk anthem "Pass The Peas."
Maceo Parker - (alto saxophone, vocals), Dennis Chambers - (drums), Rodney "Skeet" Curtis - (electric bass), WDR Big Band conducted By Michael Abene