While working on something else here  just now, I accidentally deleted my April 7th post. It was about my friend, Max Morath.   He is a man of tremendous accomplishments, so I'm rewriting.  Max can do it all -- he's a wonderful pianist, he can act, sing, write a show, and do it all with grace.  I've known him for over 40 years, ever since he played a concert in St. Paul during a blizzard that kept everybody away except a few musicians.  We learned a lot that night.  That's where my interest in ragtime was born -- before, I had heard of Scott Joplin and even played a little of his music -- very little, as Max's show demonstrated.  He made believers out of us, and we never forgot.  I put his new CD on in the car, and it made my day. The track that did it for me was Clarence Woods' "Slippery Elm Rag," performed by Max's Original Rag Quartet, the same group we heard at that first concert.  What a band that was -- Max himself on piano and vocals, Jim Tyler on tenor banjo (he was a marvel,) Barry Kornfeld, guitar; and Felix Pappalardi, guitarron. I'd post a link, but I don't have Max's permission for that, so maybe you should check out that new CD.  It's on his website. 

 


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04/15/2009 17:46

I join you in applauding the accomplishments of Max. I first became aware of him in 1961, when I happened upon a TV show that featured him. It was fascinating: he conveyed American social history through music. What a brilliant idea! And executed with charm and expertise. I've been a fan ever since.

Many years later I brought my parents along to have lunch with him. My mother insisted that she was the first to discover him. He later gave her one of his video taped performances, inscribing it, "Dear Sadie, Thank you for discovering me."

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    Scenes from Florida, 2/24-3/6.Backstage: a pensive Hal Smith, Marty Eggers retrofitting rented bass, Topsy Chapman puzzling. Post-concert: the trio, Topsy with daughters Jolynda and Yolanda.  Next day: gardenia, Sanibel sunset. 

    Pedal to the Metal 
    Last week I hit the road for a gig in Missouri.  It was an 8-hour drive.  Here's a look at the glamorous side of the music racket, starting with the morning vitamins.  

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