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Max Perkoff

Infinite Search, the Max Perkoff Band, the brand new CD by the Max Perkoff Band, represents Max Perkoff's most compelling project to date. That's saying a lot, for as a trombonist, pianist, composer and bandleader, Max Perkoff is a musician of grace, depth and impressive achievement, with several striking recordings as a leader to his name, and a recent chart-busting collaboration with trombone great Roswell Rudd. Perkoff has impressive bloodlines, as well; he's the son of pianist Si Perkoff, one of the founding fathers of San Francisco bebop.

The Max Perkoff Band will celebrate the release of Infinite Search with a performance at Jazz at Pearl's on Thursday, April 12, 2007. Jazz at Pearl's (www.jazzatpearls.com) is located at 256 Columbus Avenue in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach District. Shows are at 8:00 and 10:00 pm, with doors opening at 7:30.

A stimulating ride with fascinating surprises around every corner, Infinite Search provides testimony to Perkoff's range as a trombonist and a pianist and to the skill of his crackling, extremely versatile band. Perkoff's trombone sound is bright, vital, and full of invention, and his piano work is supple and alive. The Max Perkoff group is an incendiary ensemble of high-test players including guitarist Randy Vincent, bassist Sam Bevan and drummer Paul van Wageningen. The artists interact with an empathetic, group-first sensibility that lends the music an intimate, heartfelt depth. Comprised entirely of originals, Infinite Search also admirably presents Max Perkoff, composer.

Ultimately, it's the stylistic range and downright fearlessness of Perkoff and his bandmates that truly distinguishes Infinite Search. The group combines the provocative exploratory qualities of John Coltrane with the take-no-prisoners brashness of the Bad Plus.

Perkoff refers to the ensemble as "a concert group and party band rolled into one." In fact, straight- ahead jazz, R&B, free-form improvisation, World and folk music all shine brightly through the band's musical prism. The key, here, is the successful forging of this eclecticism into a cohesive artistic statement. Perkoff and crew accomplish that goal with aplomb. From the gently probing post-bop dance of the title track to the joyous funk sashay of "Cookin' for 20," to the mainstream romp of "New Life," the band never repeats itself and never strikes a false note. Singer Cami Thompson, with whom Perkoff has been collaborating for more than 14 years, contributes an exquisite vocal on the ballad, "Waiting," that provides Infinite Search its subtle emotional touchstone.

It's not hard to understand where Max Perkoff gets his groove from. As previously noted, his father, Si Perkoff, is a lion of San Francisco jazz, for years the house pianist at the legendary Fillmore bebop cauldron, Jimbo's Bop City. Musicians like Elvin Jones and Thelonious Monk would regularly drop by the Perkoff household. As Perkoff recently told interviewer Maxwell Chandler, "By the time I was old enough to buy my own records I was already a jazzer, in love with Billie Holiday, worshiping Bird, Bud, Diz, Basie, Louis, Duke and everyone else."

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Album Review

The Max Perkoff Band: Infinite Search

Read "Infinite Search" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

In January 2007 Max Perkoff heralded a change by dropping the words “jazz ensemble and replacing them with “band for his group. The idea behind it was to free them from categorization and to bring in greater freedom. The Max Perkoff Band features Perkoff on trombone and piano, Randy Vincent on guitar, Sam Bevan on bass, and Paul van Wageningen on drums. Singer Cami Thompson, the sixth element, showcases her talent on one track here.

The Max Perkoff Band is ...

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"Perkoff's effervescent personality did positively affect both his and his colleagues' playing. He's relaxed on the 'bone, has a nice tone and doesn't try to play 64 notes per measure." —Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

"...while playing piano, he exhibits the expertise and ease of a natural musician." —Tom W. Kelly, San Francisco Bay Times

"Max Perkoff's Nights With Lady Day played Saturday night at Pacifica's Sanchez Concert Hall and from note one, the audience strolled back to the rhythms of Swing Era sweet while keeping their temperature in the hip and now." —Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune

Primary Instrument



San Francisco

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


12 Years classroom teaching experience. k-13 Instrumental Music Teaching Credential, San Francisco State University. 1993-98: Mill Valley School District, California. 1998-2001: Novato School District, California. Current: Private teaching studio + educational workshops in schools. Grants received from the Marin Arts Council & International Association of Jazz Educators. As a performer, I remain commited to educational projects with students worldwide.

Jack Teagarden
John Coltrane
Miles Davis
Conrad Herwig
J.J. Johnson
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto
Count Basie Orchestra
band / ensemble / orchestra





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