© Albert Maksimov

Albert teaching at the Ukrainian Harmonica Club

© Albert Maksimov © Albert Maksimov © Albert Maksimov
© Albert Maksimov © Albert Maksimov

Review by Dmitriy Savitskiy on Albert Maksimov`s CD "Not Only Jazz"

What disease can an epidemiologist get infected with? In principle, he is not supposed to, at least with the diseases known to him. However, he can cheat and once and forever get sick with something incurable, for instance, with the passion for jazz. In this sense the former epidemiologist, Albert Maksimov, suffered total defeat! The diagnosis: jazz forever! The method of survival – playing the Harmonica.

His grandmother was the student of Gustav Neuhaus, mother – piano instructor in the school of arts. At the age of early mustaches Albert Maksimov, as he claims himself, was suddenly up about playing the guitar. In 1979 he created one of the first rock bands appearing at that time on the territory of the former USSR under the name “Master”. Naturally, he composed the music and wrote the lyrics by himself. In their turn, the Kyiv authorities applied a healthy preventive approach towards him: to chill out his love to the “vicious” rhythms he was drafted to the army. It did not help though.

     After demobilization Albert Maksimov graduated from the Kyiv Medical University, arming himself with the knowledge to fight diseases like cholera and plague. But eventually he put his white coat in the closet and set out for travel to explore Turkey, Bulgaria and Israel. He didn’t travel alone, but with his pal, which by the way was his eternal friend – the harmonica. And the passion for his pal did not prevent him from sharing with everybody else interested in his intimate experience of close communication with his friend i.e. making sounds on the harmonica.

     It should be noted here that the harmonica, the age mate of the saxophone, was the first pocket player of the humankind, with one only difference that it required from its owner rather an active approach than a passive one – just playing. If in its early stage of popularization it was more often seen in the hands of the pink-cheeked kids of the Burgers, it eventually became a traveling instrument, par excellence, of the immigrants. And if on the verge of the 19th century the German, Italian, Polish and Irish immigrants squeezed and twiddled harmonica in hands to produce the melodies of their abounded countries, the days to come in the 20th century saw an inevitable American synthesis. The sum of the memories could be converted into nothing else but the national American music – jazz.

     The Americans called the harmonica a mouth organ, which sounds ambiguous and stands for either the organ played by mouth or just an organ… Both meanings are correct. There is one more name for the harmonica – “mouth harp”. The harmonica in jazz was first of all the blues instrument, which gives it its third name - the blues harp. Among the famous blues harmonica players these are the most remarkable: Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton, Little Water, Sonny Terry and, of course, Sugar Blue. Among the contemporary jazz harmonica masters perhaps nobody else advanced as far as the guitar player Toots Thielemans. It is worth mentioning Larry Adler who played with Django Reinhardt and Eddie Shu, a member of the Gene Krupa’s orchestra in 50's. Eddie Shu used to change his sax for his out-of-the-pocket “baby blues”, the harmonica…

    The CD “Not Only Jazz” recorded by Albert Maksimov and friends, fills our grateful ears with the vibrant enthusiasm of the man who once and for all got contaminated by the music and jazz in particular. This should be kept in mind: the CD itself hardly needs any comments, all is ok with it; it rather must be listened to! And if your body suddenly responds to it by the rhythmic excitement or unexpected pulsation, it means that the former epidemiologist has successfully contaminated you by this wonderful and incurable disease - jazz.

© Albert Maksimov

1. Die Miniatur furMundharmonika №1 (G.Oransky & A.Maksimov ) 1:40
2. Black Orpheus (A. Jobim) 5:39
3. As Time Goes By (H. Hupfield) 3:55
4. Lullaby for Cicadas (G.Oransky & A.Maksimov) 3:36
5. Angel Eyes (M. Dennis) 3:27
6. Autumn Leaves (J. Kosma) 3:25
7. The Desert (G.Oransky & A.Maksimov) 4:26
8. Blue Moon (R.Rodgers) 5:37
9. Underground Tango (G.Bregovic) 3:54
10.The Epilogue (G.Oransky& A.Maksimov) Total time 39:19

As the title suggests; "Not Only Jazz." a well-balanced assortment of songs played in Maksimov style.
A very nice item, especially for in-car listening.
I hope Albert will take the effort of producing a similar, but longer lasting, version
Well done Albert!
Your friend: Art M. Daane.

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact me at e-mail
or mail to:
Albert Maksimov
Paul Yäkel str.9
Chemnitz 09113
Albert Maksimov's Website

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Dmitriy Savitskiy, "Radio Liberty" "49 Minutes of Jazz" Paris

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