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Bebop Spoken There

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Album review: Max Haymer - WHIRLWIND Live at Sam First

Max Haymer (piano); David Robaire (bass); Dan Schnelle (drums).

Haymer attended UC Irvine on a soccer scholarship during which time he played Division 1 soccer for four years. I wonder, how many Premier League players are also musicians? Back in the day, I remember a Newcastle player who hired a saxophone and when he got transferred to a club in a far off land the saxophone went with him. I shan't mention his name but only because I've forgotten it.

However, that's all in the past whereas Max Haymer is very much in the present although it's easy to equate his piano technique with that of a few old-time British footballers. Closing my eyes and listening I get the same vibes I used to get as a kid watching Len Shackleton outwit a defender then turn around and do it again to prove it wasn't a fluke! At other times such as in the opening So In Love he's Joe Harvey putting the the ball and the goalie in the net with his shoulder. Pianist Cecil Taylor also created the same effect at times although, if I was the ref he'd be sent off!

It's easy to say that the piano/bass/drums trio has reached its full potential and that may well be true although that in no way detracts from the format and in the hands - no pun intended - of Haymer and his henchmen he ensures its continuance.

The material comprises of a couple of Cole Porter's, a Kurt Weill and six of Max's own compositions. The intriguingly titled Gold Plated Dime gives Schnelle a workout. It's worth much more than a dime - even a gold plated one!

I love it and the audience at Sam First, the bar in L A where the album was recorded, seemed to agree with me but, in a market that's got almost as many piano trios as there are girl singers the competition is tough.

Nevertheless, well worth checking out. In fact, it's in with a shout as my piano record of the year!


PS: Only northeast (UK) soccer fans of a certain age will equate with the football references!

So in Love; Whirlwind; Proof of Evil; Speak Low; Gold Plated Dime; Welcoming; Killing Time; Passed Time; Love For Sale.

1 comment :

Max Haymer (on F/b) said...

Easily one of the funniest reviews I’ve received... and I’ll take it! Thank you Lance Liddle!! #toonarmy

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