Born: September 1, 1985
Max Haymer, 23, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He began his classical piano studies at the age of seven and was introduced to jazz piano at the age of 14. He continued to study both classical and jazz through high school and won numerous awards playing music from Bach to Stravinsky and Copland (who continue to influence his jazz playing).
Max was awarded the Bill Green Scholarship from the L.A. Jazz Society in 2002 and was a finalist in the inaugural Horace Silver Piano Competition in 2003. In 2005, Max won second prize in the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Jazz Piano Competition in Switzerland. Because of this, this past January he was able to participate in a master class with Kenny Werner at IAJE in New York, and perform at Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In May 2006, Max was named a Future Star by the Orange County Performing Arts Center receiving a scholarship and a performance at Founder's Hall....
Awards2nd Prize at 2005 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition OCPAC Tomorrow's Rising Stars Winner 2003 Horace Silver Piano Competition Finalist 2007 Phillips Jazz Piano Competition Finalist
Los Angeles-born pianist Max Haymer may not be familiar to you, after all the young 22 year old musician does not have much of a discography. If the music on Pickpocket Witness is any indication of what we can expect from Haymer in the future, then prepare to brace yourself because you're for a treat. Offering a repertoire of original contemporary jazz presented in a dynamic straight ahead fashion, Haymer performs like a wild man on the keys pounding them into submission on the title tune and demonstrating his piano chops in style.
Performing with a trio that include bassist Nick Schaadt and drummer Cale Giachello, the group play seven exciting new charts starting off with the riveting “No Dice” where the pianist quickly establishes himself leading the music and playing in a crisp lighting speed mode that grabs your attention from beginning to end. Haymer is essentially an assertive player but also displays a lighter side as found on his beautiful ballad “Silver Dawn,” a soft cushy number that Haymer treats with tenderness as drummer Giachello uses the brushes.
Other highlights on this dynamic recording include the sophisticated “Asymmetry,” “Groove Sensei” where bassist Schaadt takes his turn in the spot light with some nice bass line work, “Webs” an intricate piece of music that challenges the listener and finally “Goodnight” one of the lighter jazz numbers that features the pianist for one final time leaving a lasting impression.
I was quite taken by the music of Pickpocket Witness and even more impressed by young Max Haymer, a gifted jazz pianist and star in the making. The album is a clear winner worth repeated spins guaranteed to please critics and audiences alike.
Year: 2008 Label: Mac Swell Music