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Shawn Maxwell

“Nobody writes like this.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

As a composer, recording artist and performer, saxophonist Shawn Maxwell has endeavored to express his own unique voice. From his latest album Millstream (Jazzline, 2020) to his debut Originals (self-released, 2005), he has released nine albums of original compositions. The traditions of jazz form the foundation for Shawn’s music; he builds on that with material from the music he grew up with – rock, funk, hip hop, R&B, classical. The result, as Hrayr Attarian wrote in Chicago Jazz Magazine, “is refreshingly distinct yet recognizably Maxwellian”. He’s not intent on following any rules – or on breaking them – but on continually expanding what his music encompasses.

“…a composer who’s confident in his artistic vision, and comfortable with the wide array of colors on his instrumental palette.” – Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine

For the past three years, Shawn has been touring the U.S. with his quintet Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow. Their first album, Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow (OA2/Origin, 2016), was named one of Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of 2017”. The follow-up, Music in My Mind (OA2/Origin, 2018), was highly praised by critics and enthusiastically received by radio stations. It was chosen as a Downbeat Magazine Editor’s Pick in June 2018.

“…jaunty, angular melodies, deceptive time signatures, and metronomic rhythm arrangements – sound as if inhabited by the ghost of Zappa…” – Neil Tesser

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★★★★ - Downbeat Magazine “Bravo.” – Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine 3 time Editors Pick – Downbeat Magazine “Nobody writes like this.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune “This is bold music. Maxwell isn’t afraid to try out new ideas and take chances….that risk-taking pays off—big time.”- Frank Alkyer‚ Downbeat Magazine

I first encountered saxophonist Shawn Maxwell when a copy of his debut album came into my hands two years ago. My initial reaction was that this artist was rather cocky; his titling of his album as “Originals” seemed at first to be absurdly audacious; but upon listening to it I discovered to my pleasure that his braggadio was true: he was truly an original in that his music was singularly his own and unattached to any particular genre

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto

Location

Chicago

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Albums

Expectation &...

Self Produced
2021

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Music in My Mind

OA2 Records
2018

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Shawn Maxwell's...

Chicago Session LTD.
2015

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Shawn Maxwell's...

Chicago Session LTD.
2014

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Bridge

Chicago Sessions
2014

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Maxwell's House

From: Music in My Mind
By Shawn Maxwell

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