Re: Max Kaminsky
- In the 50s Max was the trumpet and leader for some choice (i.e.,
well-paying) Jackie Gleason gigs, including the extravagant train
ride to Florida when the Gleason show transferred its home base to
Florida. If you recall the playboy character Reggie Van Gleason, an
aficiando of wine, women and Dixieland, there were several sketches
in which Reggie summoned his trailing band onstage - five men, I
believe, led by Max - blowing a manic "That's A Plenty" while Reggie
dipped and shuffled until Max was signaled to cut it, at which point
the band dashed offstage as hastily as they had run on.
During that decade Max also appeared at the Friday and Saturday
night jam sessions at Stuyvesant Casino, along with many other top
players who were not working (jazz) regularly. Stuyvesant was at
least noisy when it was not positively rowdy, and one night a
partying group in the audience that was feeling no pain force-fed
one of their own to Max, who was leading a pickup band at the
moment. Though visibly unsympathetic to their cause, Max could not
quiet them without giving in. A young lady climbed onto the stand
and, after a one bar piano intro, sang an accelerated chorus
of "Pretty Baby" before Max cut the number and escorted her safely
back to her wildly cheering ensemble. Every solo he played during
the rest of the set was responded to with enormous applause.
That's it. Just a few fond memories of a good guy.
--- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
> Nice. Many thanks for sharing your memories and images of Max. I
> never heard him live as he never got a chance, in my time, to tourEurope.
> What sort of group was he working with in the 70s and what sort of
> repertoire ? I wonder if he was really so fond of
> warhorses or whether it was in some way a treadmill for him ?and
> I always feel in him a player of wider ambition and taste.
> Also, he did not play latterly with Condon, was superseded by Bill
> others. Did he give any indication as to why ? His decision orCondon's. Was
> there a schism ?
> Many thanks again
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- My impression was that he enjoyed swing and some of the advanced post-
war swing, and so wanted to play some of that, though as he mentioned
in his bio, he was personally unhappy playing the same charts over and
over and over again with Tommy Dorsey.
When I heard him, he was in the kind of post-swing Chicago-style group
that Pee Wee Russell played in 20 years earlier (the 1950s), but it was
very enjoyable, and he was naturally a real jazz musician in that he
was always looking for new improvisations. I doubt that he was capable
of playing something the same way twice, at least not consciously so.
- Max played what today's trumpet players only hint at...occasionally,
and that's the melody. Side men who have performed with him say that
playing ensembles was a pleasure because of that. This in contrast to
trumpet players playing eveyone else's notes but their own.