Personnel: Maceo Parker (vocals, alto saxophone, flute, piano); Prince (vocals, various instruments); Ani DiFranco (vocals, guitar); James Taylor, Corey Parker, "Sweet" Charles Sherrell (vocals); Vincent Henry (tenor saxophone); Ron Tooley (trumpet, flugelhorn); Bennie Cowan (trumpet); Greg Boyer (trombone); Sheryl Crow (harmonica, background vocals); Will Boulware (Hammond organ, synthesizer); Bruno Speight (guitar); Rodney "Skeet" Curtis (bass); Jamal Thomas, Michael Bland (drums); Kevin Hupp (percussion); Diann Sorrell, Audrey Martells, Corey Parker, Charles Sherell (background vocals).
Engineers include: Daniel Wise, Hans-Martin Buff, Marcus Miller.
Principally recorded at Dan's House Of Love, New York, New York in September 1999; Paisley Park Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Includes liner notes by Maceo Parker.
While James Brown spent most of the '80s and '90s dealing with the law, former JB Maceo Parker was busy preaching the funk gospel, tearing it up on the road and in the studio. On 2000's DIAL MACEO, Parker puts together another solid collection of songs highlighted by his awe-inspiring sax chops. The former P-Funk-ateer's musical range spans smooth R&B covers (Roberta Flack's "Closer I Get to You"), brassy, Phish-like jaunts ("My Baby Loves You"), and even Brazilian-flavored cocktail music ("Latin Like").
Parker's prowess on flute, showcased on a scorching Isley Brothers cover ("I've Got Work to Do") and on a sinewy soul-jazz original ("Simply Tooley"), are equally impressive. Longtime admirer Prince lends the flatly delivered hip-hop-flavored jam "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold" (originally released on the Purple One's RAVE UN2 THE JOY FANTASTIC) and "Baby Knows." The latter, a nugget with a Revolution-era sound, features Sheryl Crow on harmonica. Parker's son Corey joins forces with his father on "Black Widow," adding a slow-rolling rap to a number accentuated by Maceo's acid-jazz flute and a bed of dark, Goldie-like beats.
Q (5/00, p.117) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Funk's eternal verities pour like water for Maceo....He expounds them in the first 2 tracks of this 6th solo album..."
CMJ (5/1/00, p.33) - "...Smears the borders separating jazz, funk, soul and pop....collaborating with Ani DiFranco, James Taylor and Prince..."
Down Beat (8/00, p.72) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...Completes a sonic makeover of Maceo Parker, creating a contemporary, radio-friendly setting for his expressive alto sax and flute....98% funk and 2% jazz..."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/00, p.112) - "...Maceo's pretty much unbeatable, providing an old-fashioned, R&B, dance-yourself-dizzy situation....Funky..."