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Re: Max Kaminsky

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  • jaykay_4444
    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
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 2, 2006
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      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@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Lynn
      >
      > Nice. Many thanks for sharing your memories and images of Max. I
      regret I
      > never heard him live as he never got a chance, in my time, to tour
      Europe.
      >
      > 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
      the 'Dixie/Condon'
      > warhorses or whether it was in some way a treadmill for him ?
      >
      > I always feel in him a player of wider ambition and taste.
      >
      > Also, he did not play latterly with Condon, was superseded by Bill
      and
      > others. Did he give any indication as to why ? His decision or
      Condon's. Was
      > there a schism ?
      >
      > Many thanks again
      >
      > Dave
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Lynn Bayley
      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
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 2, 2006
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        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.

        Lynn
      • drjazztb
        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
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 7, 2006
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          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.
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