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Germany, 1994 (MIFF 1995, Documentaries)

Director: Markus Gruber

" Maceo, blow your horn!!" There wasn't a concert or recording session when the Godfather of Soul, James Brown didn't fire up his aggressive dynamic saxophonist with the preced­ing exclamation. Maceo Parker is music history.

Markus Gruber's stellar documentary fastidi­ously investigates Parker's background and rise to his current exalted position among American jazz greats. All this as an entree to a singularly dynamic concert film! Pithy interview segments with bandmates and fellow jazz and R&B leg­ends lead into imaginative and cleverly execut­ed performance footage utilising a camera set up combo that propels you into the midst of the session.

The film's real strength lies in the vitality and immediacy of the music, imparting the raw power and presence of Parker's saxophone play­ing. The crisp sound, of incredible fidelity, was recorded in an intimate Parisian venue pos­sessed of near perfect acoustics.

Streets ahead of pedestrian music documen­tary, My First Name Is Maceo captures the thrill and impact of the best seats in the house with the funkiest players around.

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