The Jones Family Singers and Maceo Parker: Gospel, Blues and Funk. Music that grew out of the African American experience, reflective of hopes, dreams, pain and joy, those different branches of that solid oak were on magnificent and make-you-wanna-move display out at Campbell Hall last Thursday. The Jones Family literally filled the stage with some of the highest octane Gospel I’ve ever seen or heard and made a resounding case for that most American strain of spiritual music being the progenitor of the blues. Jazz and Funk also have roots in gospel, and modern Black Gospel now incorporates elements of Funk and Rock (another derivative of African American music), so this double bill made perfect sense. Who better to lay down the real funk than Maceo Parker? His bona-fides after so many years with the Godfather and Parliament-Funkadelic are beyond doubt. He didn’t waste any time getting into the groove, stopping only briefly to dispense with any notion that his was a jazz band. At 73, the man still out funks ’em all.
Earlier in the day, the Jones Family Singers dropped by Isla Vista Elementary School for a rousing demonstration/participation session and had the kids on their feet and singing along with gusto, interspersing the fun with great Q & A segments.