MAX HAYMER — Whirlwind - Live At Sam First (review)

MAX HAYMER — Whirlwind - Live At Sam First album cover Live album · 2020 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Hanamichi - The Final Studio Recordings Avant-Garde Jazz
MASABUMI KIKUCHI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Sound Ancestors Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
MADLIB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Jumping Off The Sun Jazz Related Rock
COLOSSEUM/COLOSSEUM II
Buy this album from MMA partners
We Are RnB
JONATHAN BATISTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
I Need You RnB
JONATHAN BATISTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

The Front Line
KENNY BURRELL
snobb· 1 day ago
Jon Batiste - I NEED YOU
JONATHAN BATISTE
snobb· 2 days ago
Get up off Your Knees
TRIBE
js· 2 days ago
All By Myself
MIKE JONES
js· 3 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us