Maceo Parker’s name is today synonymous with Jazz music, and his pedigree of music considered being impeccable together with his entire orchestra. His recent concert that I attended was nothing short of this illustrious description of his band and his music. However, there were key features in particularly his band that was a clear indication of the evolution that has taken place in the musical world in regards to popular culture. As is stated in music literature, studying popular music, for example, that of an iconic artist as Maceo Parker is in essence, the study of popular culture including the culture’s evolution over time.
Historically, Jazz originated from the genre of music referred to as the blues. This music was considered to be a conception and reserve of freedmen and ex-slaves. In addition, it was an expression of the personal and intellectual experiences and as a confirmation (emotional) and as reaction to the means by which black men at the time commonly referred to as Negros were forced to live in the United States. However, after a few years, there was a cultural breakdown due to the emotional nature of jazz music, the music was assimilated or adopted by the whites with these whites even being categorized in a social class of their own. However, their purpose was not to burlesque some aspects of their life like their black counterparts, but just to play the music for the intellectual and emotional fulfillment.
The cultural breakdown resulted into a shift where the focus gradually began to move from understanding the origins to enjoying it. The white Jazz musician received rebellion from their black counterparts, however, with time this changed as both black and white Jazz musicians could play in the same bands and same stage, for instance, Louis Armstrong’s Hot five and hot seven.
This cultural breakdown was evident during the concert as some of the ban members were white Americans indicating the evolution of culture in music. Moreover, unlike in the past where most of the audience would be all black (Negros), the concert had predominantly while Americans which is a significant shift from the historical norm. Moreover, the message communicated in the music through the bands titles does not have any Negro sentiments but a general message that appeals to the emotions and intellect of everyone hence enjoyed by both black and whites.
Finally, Maceo is from the generation of the 1960s music. This was a period where there was a musical evolution with different genres of music being merged together. An evident genre of music emerged during this time that was a combination of the now popular Jazz music, soul music, and Rhythm and Blues. This was danceable compared to the original Jazz and this was known as funk music. This was popular among the African American population but with the popularity of artists such as Pee Wee Ellis and James Brown, funk music became popular in the nation even among whites and this further promoted the involvement of whites in the music. In the concert the Music was predominantly funky music with Maceo doing renditions that he did in the past with artists such as James Brown and Prince. The crowd danced and enjoyed the music which was a depiction of the evolution that Jazz music has undergone.