×

Isaac Hayes, Maceo Parker, Arrested Development

At Wednesday's so-called Jazz at the Bowl concert, the word "jazz" applied only to a precious handful of notes that were blaring through the cranked-up Hollywood Bowl amplification system. Yet the event was accurately subtitled "Soul Night," with three acts energetically reprising a selection of styles.

At Wednesday’s so-called Jazz at the Bowl concert, the word “jazz” applied only to a precious handful of notes that were blaring through the cranked-up Hollywood Bowl amplification system. Yet the event was accurately subtitled “Soul Night,” with three acts energetically reprising a selection of styles that developed between James Brown’s good-foot grooves of the late 1960s and the emergence of hip-hop into the mainstream. All soul, however, was not created equal here, for Isaac Hayes’ set was allowed to run for as long as Arrested Development’s and Maceo Parker’s sets combined.

Arrested Development, which broke through to fame in 1992 only to break up in 1996, is touring as a reunion band. Its brightly sung choruses and joyous stage act make it seem more like a throwback to a much-earlier era of soul; the spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire comes to mind. The 12-person group was given only half an hour, barely enough time to run through hits like “Mr. Wendal” and the hip-hop transformation of Sly Stone’s “Everyday People” into “People Everyday.”

Maceo Parker, whose funky marathons can last up to three hours or beyond, was limited to 40 minutes — and at times, the set sounded compressed, with abrupt transitions. There was sufficient room, though, for Parker’s keen-edged band to get some deep-pile JB-like grooves happening on “Once You Get Started,” and “Gimme Some Mo.” Maceo still packs a lot of funk into his staccato bursts on alto sax, and his son Corey is pretty good with highly syncopated rap.

The husky subterranean rumble of Hayes’ basso profondo came through as powerfully as ever in music dramas like “Walk on By” and the funkathon “Don’t Let Go,” though the extravagant arrangements from his Stax/Enterprise recordings sound cheesy on synthesizers and one rhythm guitar was painfully screeching. Besides the inevitable “Theme From ‘Shaft,’ ” Hayes dug out another, somewhat overshadowed soul gem from the “Shaft” score, “Do Your Thing,” as well as a playfully risque song from his latter-day work on the cable series “South Park,” “Chocolate Salty Balls.”

Isaac Hayes, Maceo Parker, Arrested Development

Hollywood Bowl, 17,383 seats, $80 top

  • Production: Presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. Reviewed Aug. 14, 2002.
  • Crew:
  • Cast:
  • Music By: