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Take Five With Max Blumentrath

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Max Blumentrath:

Jazz organist Max Blumentrath, (born in 1986 in the very west of Germany), graduated from the conservatory of Enschede, the Netherlands in May 2010. In fall 2010, he will contine his studies in Dresden, Germany. He took classes and masterclasses from international reknowned organists like Larry Goldings, Joey DeFrancesco, Alberto Marsico, Matthias Bätzel, John Hondorp, Arno Krijger, Carlo DeWijs and Steinar Nickelsen. From 2008-2009 he was an exchange student at the conservatory of Barcelona, Spain. Another big impact on his musical education were visits to cities like Copenhagen, Berlin, San Francisco, and New York, for organ classes, concerts, and workshops like the European Jazz Academy 2006 and the Italian We-Love-Jazz Workshop 2008. He plays in various configurations mostly as an organist, but as a pianist, too.

Instrument(s):

Hammond B3

Teachers and/or influences?

Larry Goldings, Joey DeFrancesco, Alberto Marsico, Steinar Nickelsen, John Hondorp, Arno Krijger

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

Well, there never was another option! I've just grown into it.

Your sound and approach to music:

I use a 1960 Hammond organ which has a very warm and rich sound—additionally, I placed new tubes in recently. That is the sound I work with. The C3 Chorus is not as strong as I know it from other organs, but it lets me play with a modern approach.

Your dream band:

I once would like to play with Bill Stewart, he's such an incredibly tasteful drummer!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

We once had a gig in an old castle and had to haul the heavy organ up corkscrew stairs—it was a heavy experience.

Favorite venue:

Jazzclub De Tor, Enschede

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Probably, that was Carla Bley4x4 (Watt).

CDs you are listening to now:

((Kenny Dorham}}, Whistle Stop (Blue Note);

Larry Goldings, Light Blue (Minor Music);

Miles Davis, Round Midnight (Columbia);

Jesse van Ruller, Views (Criss Cross);

Mark Turner, In This World (Warner Bros).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

As far as I am concerned, I meet a lot of talented young new players every day—jazz is in good hands.

What is in the near future?

I have a new project with own material and a great sound. That is one of the projects where I hope to be playing with a lot. When I start my masters degree in Dresden, I hope to meet a lot of new people as well as keep my old connections alive.

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