MAX HAYMER

Post Bop • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
MAX HAYMER picture
Max Haymer was born and raised in Los Angeles. He began his classical piano studies at the age of seven and was introduced to jazz piano at the age of 14.

He studied with the great LA based pianist Tamir Hendelman through high school and went on to continue his music education at UC Irvine, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors and a Bachelor of Music degree in 2007. At Irvine, Haymer studied Jazz Performance with Kei Akagi, Darek Oles, Bobby Rodriguez, and the late Sherman Ferguson. During that time, he also studied Musical Theater Direction with Dr. Gary Busby.

Haymer has won 2nd prizes at the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition and the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville Florida, and was a finalist in the Horace Silver Piano Competition and UWF Phillips Jazz Piano Competition and UWF Phillips Jazz Piano Competition. He was also named a Rising Star
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MAX HAYMER Pickpocket Witness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pickpocket Witness
Post Bop 2008

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MAX HAYMER Whirlwind - Live At Sam First album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Whirlwind - Live At Sam First
Post Bop 2020

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MAX HAYMER Whirlwind - Live At Sam First

Live album · 2020 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Continuing my relentless pursuit to bring forth those artists who are not getting near the recognition they deserve, I think many a jazz fan would do well to check out pianist Max Haymer. This man is an absolute powerhouse on the piano with a highly developed technique in the league of Art Tatum, Eddie Palmieri and the young pre-scientology Chick Corea. I also hear a lot of Ahmad Jamal, not just Jamal’s lounge tendencies, but also his fired up free fusion performances. Max isn’t just a technician though, there is an abundance of imagination in his solos as he will often rapidly cut from one idea to the next while quickly throwing in perfectly executed jaggedy syncopated Latin rhythms. This is a very physical pianist, that fact that he was also a top notch soccer player in college comes as no surprise. As a long time piano teacher and former athlete, I can attest to the close relationship between sports and musical performance. So often my students who devote themselves to a skill in sports will also develop the quick intuition and reflexes of a strong music performer.

‘Whirlwind’ is only Max’s second album as a leader, so possibly that is why he is not better known. Some of you may already know him from his usual main gig as pianist for Arturo Sandoval. Haymer has also worked with many other well known jazz artists, which is also true for his backup band, David Robaire on bass and Dan Schnelle on drums. Dan plays in today’s modern post bop style, which is to say he is constantly all over the kit in a robust conversation with Max. David plays the bass like it should be played, he stays on the low end of the instrument while staying nimble enough to offer support to his rapidly moving band mates.

So many good tracks on here, but some that stand out would include a burning high speed version of ‘Love for Sale’ and a complex rhythmic original called ‘Gold Plated Dime’. ‘Welcoming’ is the mystical track sounding much like an impressionistic concert hall piece. “Speak Low’ is the one track where that Jamal influence really comes through as Max starts off in lounge mode and then keeps throwing surprise curveballs as the song develops. I searched various top pianist lists for Max’s name but was surprised not to see him, hopefully ‘Whirlwind’ will change that.

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