Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Brother, come here quick-quick-bring that funky lickin' stick.
James Baldwin once said in his essay "Many Thousands Gone" from Notes of a Native Son, "It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear."
Well sometimes music has the incredible power to pervade our "protective sentimentality" and sometimes music is the best and most universally understood way of telling a story: stories of love, heartbreak, violence, hate, and despair. All music is a story in one way or another: the most obvious is storytelling through lyrics. Sometimes lyrics are unnecessary and the best way to tell a story is via pure visceral expression through an instrument.
Today's post I bring you a song from Maceo Parker's LP on People titled "Us!!" First some quick biographical information. Maceo was James Brown's go to sax player and played on nearly every major hit he released through the mid to late 60's. He has also played with Parliament and Prince: quite a resume. The song I bring you today is from his second solo record released in '74 on People. I'm just going to let this one speak for yourself and hope that it affects you as deeply as it does to me.