Urgent Appeal: It’s Time to Give Back to Max Collie for all He has Given to Jazz

Jazz Fans, time to give back to Max who has given so much to Jazz.

All you Jazzers out there who got fun and enjoyment listening to Max Collie over the years will be sad to hear that he has had a stroke, has lost his eye sight and is in hospital in a pretty bad way. His two daughters are raising funds towards the costs of getting him into 24 hour care and we are all freely volunteering to help by selling off the last of his CD and DVD stock for him.

There are two great CD’s

[1] The Battle of Trafalgar. Many regard this as Max’s best recording, having been recorded on the Rolling Stones Mobile live in the Trafalgar in the Kings Road Chelsea. We only have a few of these and once they are gone they are gone.  This is the last chance to get mint copies to replace your worn out L.P’s. The numbers are:-Shimmee Sha Wabble, All The Girls Go crazy, Beale St Blues, Red Wing, The Entertainer, Ballin’ The Jack, St Phillips Street Breakdown, Alexanders Ragtime Band, Weatherbird Rag, Some Of These Days, Yellow Dog Blues, Gettysburg March, Tiger Rag, There’ll Be Some Changes Made.

[2] The second CD is titled “1971-72” and is two different recordings put together from that year because they all feature John Healey the great Australian bass player. On the last 8 tracks Cy Laurie is also on clarinet and his is the best Trouble in Mind recording we ever heard.  Definitely worth having in your collection.  There are only a few hundred of these and again once they are gone, they are gone. The numbers are:- Flatfoot, Granpa’s Spells, Bourbon Street Parade, Perdido St Blues, Shine, Stevedore Stomp, Trouble in Mind, Ice Cream, Petulia, Willie The Weeper, Aunt Hagar’s Blues, Walking With The King, Black Bottom Stomp, Light From The Lighthouse, Steamboat Stomp, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, Bourbon Street Parade, Snake Rag.

[3] We have also found about 20 DVD’s of a German jazz club show divided into Vol 1 and Vol 2. They are for serious collectors as they were filmed live at the Mulheimer Jazzclub in Germany with only  2 camera’s. The numbers are :- You Always Hurt The One You Love, Travelling Blues, Curse Of An Aching Heart, Winin’ Boy Blues, I’ve Found A New Baby, Good Old New York, Chimes Blues, Pretty Baby, Shimmee-Sha-Wabble, Bad Penny Blues, Mahogany Hall Stomp, Gentleman Jim’s Mouth Organ Medley, Saratoga Shout, Original Dixieland One Step, Basin Street Blues, Lord Lord Lord, Savoy Blues , Tiger Rag. Total video time 124 minutes.

What is important about the CD recordings are that they demonstrate Max’s dedication to the music and show why he started a resurgence of Traditional Jazz in the Kings Road in the 70’s.   Max’s music is distinctive in origin, timeless in concept and superbly executed.

Martin Ross Max’s former Manager Worldwide and Sam Johnson Max’s USA Manager.

Please complete the form above and return to:

John  Petters, New House Farm, Hospital Drove, Long Sutton, PE12 9EN.
Email: tjpost@traditional-jazz.com 

Cheques in favour of AMBER COLLIE Max’s eldest daughter.  John will dispatch your order by return to you.

Comments

  1. Trefor Williams says:

    I feel very privileged to have spent my early developing years with Max’s band. Max put together a unique bunch of guys, working as a team, with perfect chemistry. It was always a lesson in playing and listening. They were all top players, and, under Max’s direction, leadership, presentation skills and salesmanship, it connected with audiences everywhere at a time when our chosen music wasn’t appreciated by the masses. Max was always a “never say die” man. Here’s hoping and praying he’s still got some of that fighting spirit in him now. The recordings remain a joy.
    Thanks, Max., and thanks Syd, John and Martin for the support you’re giving him.
    God bless.
    Trefor.

  2. Syd says:

    Nice sentiments Trefor and that band were really special … Happy Days for me, I feel so lucky to have been a small part in the pleasure we gave thousands all over Europe!

  3. nicky gilbcky ert says:

    I want to add to Trefor’s words: I was just listening to an old tape of the MCRA I found in the garage, with Max laughing and waffling on in between numbers, I was just thinking what a lot of stick he took from everyone at the time! “Get on with it Max…….” then I read about his stroke. What a shock. The amazing pace he put the guys through – and what a great professional throughout his career he has always been. I, and I am sure many others, wish him well and are thinking about him at this time He will always have a very special place in my heart.
    Nicky (Gilbert)

  4. These days it is not good to open up Jazz pages and to read how so many of the old faces are no longer with us. And now the news that Max has suffered this terrible stroke. On visits back home I and other Swiss musicians always tried to get to see a Max Collie gig. In the early days The Trafalgar was a must, then The Six Bells. Max did a lot for the music and with his loyal team, managed to bring the great sounds to many punters. Thank you Max. Chris.

  5. Jason Downes says:

    Any chance Amber has a PayPal account that overseas folk like myself could make a donation to? I’m keen to contribute. Jason

    • Peter Butler says:

      I’ve sent you a Facebook Friend Request, Jason, so that I can invite you to join my Jazzers Group. Meantime I’ve posted this message on the item about Max on Jazzers:

      “Just received this message on Jazz&Jazz from Jason Downes: “Any chance Amber has a PayPal account that overseas folk like myself could make a donation to? I’m keen to contribute. Jason” I’ll invite him to join Jazzers. Meantime, over to you Jim and John. I’m aiming to set paypal up pretty soon on Jazz&Jazz but meantime any ideas?”

  6. John Roberts says:

    I knew Max in Melbourne in the 1950s-1960s, and also stayed and played trumpet with him when working in London hospitals in 1970. If there is some way to donate, and also to purchase Max’s CDs from Australia, please advise. A recent radio programme from the Victorian Jazz Club played many tracks of Max’x band. I wish Max and his family all the very best.

    • Peter Butler says:

      John, there are several John Roberts on Facebook, If you let me know which one you are I can send you a friend request or you could send me one at Peter Mark Butler. Then I can invite you to join my Facebook Jazzers Group and keep up with news about Max and other things jazz. Arrangements are also being made to pay from overseas, probably by PayPal, and you can keep up with that on Jazzers too.

      Peter

    • Peter Butler says:

      John, I tried emailing you but delivery was not authorised and the message was refused. Could you please email me at: peter@jazzandjazz.com

      Thanks

      Peter

  7. Trefor Williams says:

    I saw Max again today. We had 45mins. of quality time together. He was bright, good humoured and lucid. We talked about mutual friends, gigs, musicians and he even gave me a lecture on handling diabetes. He managed a short walk round the ward with the aid of a zimmer frame. I was so delighted to see him so bright and working his way back to his old self, but there is a way to go yet so keep up the prayers. God bless him.

  8. Betty Renz says:

    When I heard Max was playing at the Clarendon Hotel, Deal on his way to Europe, I went and asked if I could sing with him (my hobby is to do ‘guest vocals’ with as many bands that will have me !). I sang ‘There’ll be some changes made’ – it went well and Denny Illett said “Are you going to do another ?” – “No”, I said, because all I could think of was -“I’ve just sung with Max Collie !” – Couldn’t believe it ! My mind was a blank apart from that. It was the highlight of my hobby. I then had the good fortune to book him and the Rhythm Aces as the main attraction for the first ever Seaside Shuffle at Ramsgate in 2011. I even met him afterwards when we gave the band a meal – and had a photo taken with him. He certainly has a place in my heart…. with love and best wishes to you Max, Betty Renz x

    • Peter Butler says:

      And this weekend you sang with the Frog Island Jazz Band, the main attraction at the 2013 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival, Betty, which is proving a success story thanks to your inspiration and drive in launching it back in 2011.

  9. I just heard about the terrible situation Max is in, I am so very sorry for him. The Max Collie Rhythm Aces have been in Arnhem (Netherlands) many times and they have a lot of fans.
    On June 5th 1975, one of the first concerts at the new Storyville Jazzclub in Arnhem, they gave a tremendous 4 hours’ concert. We made recordings on a Revox recorder for private purposes. In the meantime they have been copied on blank CD’s and are of good quality. I play them regularly, they are still inspiring to me. If anyone is seriously interested to put these recordings on the market, please let me know. They might generate money for Max.
    And give my best hopes and wishes to Max, we have been in touch many times.
    Ruud Nieuwenhuijzen, Storyville Jazzclub Arnhem-NL. Cornetplayer with the Storyville Jassband,

    • Peter Butler says:

      I’ve posted this on my Facebook Jazzers Group, Ruud, and flagged it up to John Petters and Syd Appleton who are involved with helping Max. Should you or the club be on Facebook I could link you to the Jazzers Group. Let me know.

      Thanks for your support.

      Peter

      • Peter Butler says:

        PS Ruud, I’ve sent you an FB friend request. When you respond I’ll invite you to join Jazzers.

        Peter

  10. John Healy says:

    I have been very saddened to learn of Max’s serious health set back. In the very early ’70s I had the good fortune and privilege to play in the Rhythm Aces when Max was king of the Kings Road at the Trafalgar – simply amazing with Max in full flight supported by other elite musicians, Phil Mason, Jack Gilbert(d),Ron MacKay(d) and “Gentleman” Jim McIntosh – absolutely awesome. Trefor, would you kindly pass on my very best wishes to Max when next you see him as well as keeping me informed generally to johnhealyfreo@gmail.com

    John Healy
    Fremantle
    Western Australia

    • Peter Butler says:

      Hi John

      Thank you for your message for Max on Jazz&Jazz. I’ve passed it on to Trefor and others via my Facebook Jazzers Group. If you are on Facebook I could send you an invite to join the group so that you could personally exchange messages. It’s wonderful that so many are responding to Max in his hour of need.

      Best wishes
      Peter

  11. Edward Black says:

    In the good old days at the 100 Club there were benefit nights when one heard the best music and musicians – like Humph playing superb New Orleans horn, in a completely relaxed friendly atmosphere. Max’s band attended Bill’s celebration of Ken. I’m sure they raised good dosh – Roger Horton would advise… I don’t know if Max is a Brother but band members most probably are…

  12. Peter Butler says:

    Trefor Williams telephoned me this afternoon and asked me to pass on his message that Max is no longer hospitalised and has been moved to Sycamore Court Care Home in Brighton where he is comfortable and making good progress. His daughters Amber and Melinda visit him regularly and along with Max wish to thank Jazzers everywhere for their many messages, best wishes and continued support.

    Sycamore Court is in Fitzherbert Drive, Bear Road, Brighton BN2 4DU

    Website: http://www.carehome.co.uk/carehome.cfm/searchazref/20001066SYCA

  13. mike hudson says:

    The Max Collie albums are among the highlights of my collection. Great music. Great fun. I am sure I speak for all his Oz fans in wishing him a full recovery.

    • Peter Butler says:

      Thanks for your concern for Max, Mike. We owe Oz fans a great debt for gifting him to us for all these years! Peter.

  14. Richard Neal says:

    Whenever Max played at Guildhall Yard during the City of London Jazz Festivals, he made lunch times come alive. They remain unforgettable times. Thank you, Max.
    Richard

  15. Jan says:

    God bless you Maxwell and thank you for your the music i hope that you get better
    Jan van trier

  16. David Mummery says:

    Hello Max, family and jazz friends. I rememember seeing Max and the Rhythm Aces at the Palast der Republik in the heart of East Berlin way back in the the 1980s. The evening was like a burst of sunshine in a grey, dark world. Earlier the band had thrilled the loyal members of the Colchester Jazz Club back in Blighty. Thanks Max and best wishes for a steady recovery; I too suffered a stroke and have lost vision and can truly sympathise.
    David.

  17. Peter Clifford says:

    I have been a fan of Max Collie for over 40 years and do miss him very much. I have enjoyed many concerts of Max with his Rhythm Aces, and their regular gig at the Clarendon Hotel, Deal. I also miss having a chat to Max as he was always friendly. Thanks for the great music. I wish Max well. Best Wishes from Peter.

  18. Trevor Arnold says:

    I played with Max from 1964 to 1970 on Trumpet. So sorry to hear of his Stroke.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery Max!
    Other Band members were Annie Hawkins, Eddie Edwards, Tony Scrivens, Roy Pellett (Jack Gilbert) myself (Trevor Arnold Trumpet). We had some great gigs together.
    Love and best wishes

    Trevor Arnold

  19. Fabian says:

    Max, you lead the best band in the land.
    Never had so much fun as when you played in Putney.
    Thanks for the solos and the brilliant musicians you employed.
    Please come back soon – and find that tiger!
    A fan

  20. SAM JOHNSON says:

    I HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH WITH MARTIN ROSS AND TREFOR WILLIAMS AND RECENTLY LEARNED OF MAX’S CONDITION. ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE WAS STUMBLING INTO THE TRAFALGER AND HEARING THE RHYTHM ACES. I SAT WITH MARTIN ROSS AND HIS OTHER FANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR OR SO AND RARELY MISSED A GIG IN THE UK AND MADE MANY IN EUROPE AS WELL. THE MUSIC WAS GREAT AS WERE HIS OTHER DEVOTED FOLLOWERS. LOTS OF LIFETIME FRIENDS MADE. I WAS DETERMINED TO EXPOSE THIS YOUNG BAND WHO LOOKED LIKE HIPPIES AND PLAYED NEW ORLEANS JAZZ TO THE USA WHERE FANS UNDER 30 WERE RARE. I HAD NO EXPERIENCE AS A BAND MANAGER OR BOOKING AGENT OR ROADIE BUT 3 TOURS COVERING 40+ STATES CURED THAT AS THE BAND LEARNED THE USA AS THE TOURING BANDS OF THE 1930’S DID. TREFOR ONCE ASKED ME “HOW FAR’S THE NEXT GIG?” I REPLIED “NOT FAR”. HE SAID “NO, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW.” I SAID ONLY A COUPLE HUNDRED MILES.” “THAT’S ALL RIGHT THEN, I THOUGHT IT WAS 500!” HE AND MAX DID SOME DRIVING AS WELL. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE ON THE ALBUM “JAZZ IN THE USA”, ONE OF THE LARGEST SELLING DIXIELAND ALBUMS OF ALL TIMES. I AM WHEELCHAIR BOUND FOR THE LAST 1O YEARS, BUT THE LORD WILLING, AND THE CREEK DON’T RISE, I’LL GET TO SEE MAX [THE BAND SURVIVORS AND SPOUSES, MARTIN, SYD, JIM, DENNY ILLETT (BORN OCT. 5TH SAME AS ME), FRAKA, SUE MC, JESS ONE MO’ TIME BEFO I GO.

    • Jenny Castell says:

      Oh gosh Sam. Met you in Toronto when landed from Gatwick. Remembered knocking on your door as I had a letter from Gill to Max and you opened the door naked. I was only 18 and shocked and thought it was sooooooo funny. You
      then drove us around the US to different locations including your own estate, But do you remember the fiasco of St Louis. Memories are brilliant. Sorry to hear that you are now confined to a wheelchair, Will never forget you.. Sending loads of love to you. Jenny. (Trefors First Wife) xxx

  21. Jenny Castell says:

    I was married to Trefor who sadly died 2 weeks ago. Obviously we went our own ways but I never stopped loving him. Thankfully he found Kate, who has been devoted to him. God bless you both. xxxx Now can anybody help me with finding, It’s Wonderful with Jack Gilbert

  22. Les Bacon says:

    Max Collie & The Rhythm Aces were and always will be dear to my heart – I used to see them all over the place (UK only) – They were truly uplifting!
    I am playing the ‘Trafalgar album’ in tribute, at this precise moment and I have some great memories of the band.
    I wish that I could go back in time to relive those great and inspiring gigs.

    Cheers!

  23. Martin Ross Manager the late great Max Collie says:

    Sorry to report Max Passed away today 6th January 2018.

    MAX COLLIE – World Champion of Jazz

    John Maxwell Collie was born in Melbourne, Australia on 21st February 1931. He first heard professional jazz in 1946 listening to Graham Bell’s lunchtime concerts at The New Theatre Melbourne. By 1948 he was playing with a local band and shortly after, leading it.

    The famous Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band were on tour in Europe and Max received a cable offering him the trombone chair, so in April 1962 Max arrived in England [to coincide with Beatlemania and the collapse of the British Trad scene] to tour Europe until that band went back to Australia a year later. Max decided to stay and joined the London City Stompers, becoming leader after a year, until February 1966, when he formed Max Collie’s Rhythm Aces and that band, notwithstanding the collapse of the UK jazz scene, went on to become world famous. Max was simply a great band leader and got the best out of everyone, converting them to his unique sound. He knew that no group of artistes no matter how talented as individuals can bring forth the authentic New Orleans style if they can’t work together day after day as his band did, as the last of the touring bands. He was able to get his highly professional and experienced musicians as though by magic to play the style and the way he wanted and achieve the level of musical perfection required.

    In 1972 Sam Johnson, an avid jazz fan, whose stepfather had the longest running jazz radio show in history and whose uncle was President of the USA, started following the band. Sam Johnson became the American Tour Manager and with Martin Ross as overall manager, led Max into a different world, first with a 25 days tour of the USA, then a 45 day tour, then a 66 day tour and finally an 84 day tour. All unheard of for a non US musician and the nationwide USA success of these 220 US appearances led to Max winning the World Championship of Jazz in Indianapolis against the cream of North American jazz bands. A total of 44 states were travelled by band wagon and most jazz festivals and clubs across the USA were played, along with many TV appearances and countless radio shows. Terrific publicity followed this success in the jazz world and tours of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Japan were added to the regular European itinerary. The Band’s only ever Manager Martin Ross, persuaded Max that it was time to take advantage of his new found fame and do a Theatre Show called simply “Max Collie’s New Orleans Mardi Gras”, which although a vehicle for Max also included the legendary Ken Colyer and Cy Laurie and turned out to be the most successful jazz show in British jazz history performing approximately 700 shows across every major venue in Britain. Max had now played over 3500 major jazz festivals all over the world from Antibes to New Orleans itself, 1200 theatre concerts, countless jazz clubs and made 50 recordings many of which are now collector’s items, plus DVD’s and 100’s of TV and Radio show appearances.

    His secret was that not only was he a great band leader but he had also developed his own sound and had a marvellous dedication to his concept of this unique art form. No engagement was just another gig to Max. 100% effort went into every performance, which is why such a high standard was maintained over the years. Artistes who were members of the band from time to time are in themselves a history of British Jazz and include:

    Trumpets: Chez Chesterman, Trevor Arnold, John Keen, Phil Mason, Denny Ilett, Ken Colyer.
    Clarinets: Roy Pellett, Karl Hird, Jumping Jack Gilbert, Trevor Whiting, Paul Harrison, Cy Laurie, Jerry Senfluk, Jonny Boston, Tony Pyke, Steve Mellor, Gabe Essien
    Banjo: Jim Cox, Eddy Edwards, Gentlemen Jim McIntosh, Jim Wright, John Cherry, Chris Marney, David Bashford, George Walker, Dickie White.
    Bass: Annie Hawkins, John Healy, Trefor Williams, Count John McCormick, Andy Laurence.
    Drums: Tony Scriven, Phil Franklin, Ron McKay, Pete Cotterill, Robert Cotterill, Emile Martyn, Alan (Slim) Poston, Baby Jools, John Petters.
    Piano: T J Johnson, Lord Arsenal.
    Vocalists: Jan Sutherland, T J Johnson, Christine Tyrrell, Claire Solomon, Marilyn Middleton Pollock, Pauline Pearce.
    Roadies: Pete Marr, Syd Appleton and Andy Firth
    Deputy trombonists: Gentleman Jim McIntosh (who also played Banjo) and Mike Pointon.
    Worldwide Manager: Martin K Ross ;USA Tour Agent/manager:- Samuel S. H. Johnson.

    • Peter Butler says:

      Martin, even though such sad news, thank you so much for posting this on Jazz&Jazz so quickly. I will prepare a new feature based on your tribute. I will never forget the 20 minutes Max spent in personal conversation with me after his appearance at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle back in 2011 when I captured that wonderful photo of him and his beloved trombone (above).

  24. Tony Scriven says:

    Played with Max’s band in the 60’s and it is very sad to hear that he has gone. He was probably the hardest working bandleader I have every worked with. He was always on the phone hustling for work instead of waiting for the phone to ring and in those early days after he formed the band from the remains of “The London City Stompers” he did all the driving to gigs as well. I went to see him when he was still living in Bromley about 15 years ago and he was so pleased to see me but unfortunately could not string a sentence together. A very sad loss.

  25. Syd Appleton says:

    Just to say how sad it is to hear of Max’ passing. I roadied for Max from some time in 1979 until 1981 having taken over the job from my best mate Phil Burnell, who also passed away in May 2015. I moved on to work with Monty Sunshine, Terry Lightfoot and Kenny Ball but, when commitments allowed still did the odd tour with Max. As Tony said above Max, and his manager Martin Ross, were always hustling to get the band work, I lived at Chez Collie for about a year and Max would be downstairs in the office at his Bromley home all day, sometimes seven days a week, including Sundays, on the phone getting gigs for the band, I hate to think what his phone bills were like. I had worked in the rock music industry prior to getting into the jazz scene via Bob Kerr and first saw Max when Phil Burnell started roadying for Max. He called me and said ” you’ve gotta come and see this band I’m working for, they’re great”. They were playing at The Red Lion in Barnehurst I seem to remember and had what, in my opinion, was Max’s best band with Phil Mason, Jack Gilbert, Ron McKay, Trefor Williams and Jim McIntosh and I was completely blown away by the energy and musicianship that day and when Phil Burnell decided to leave I jumped at taking the job on. My first gig was in Holland at the Breda festival. We did four nights there and the venue was absolutely rocking. There were so many jazz festivals in Holland in those times and I think we did most of them over the years and Holland loved Max Collie’s band especially at The Enkhuizen Festival which I think I’ve worked at about 11 times with Max, Monty and Kenny. Max was there just about every year by demand from the organisers over the early years and every venue we played was packed out. Max loved playing and would take a gig anywhere that doable. I remember on at least three occasions playing at Cole Mathieson’s Concorde Club in Eastleigh, near Southampton and going directly to Dover to get the 5 am ferry to Belgium and then driving directly to The Cotton Club in Hamburg, a 10 hour drive, just in time to go straight to the gig to set up for an 8.30 pm gig which would go on until 1 am. These sort of schedules were not unusual and Max had had a Fiat band bus specially built with 8 beds in it and toilet, wash basin and fridge in the back section, it even had a working TV. The band, especially Trefor spent a lot of time horizontal while travelling. Max ws a great band leader and got the very best out of all the musicians he used over the years. He also loved giving the younger guys a chance and people like T.J. Johnson, James Evans, Paul Harrisson and Jonny Boston would all pay tribute to Max for helping them on their ways to a career in music. I last saw Max a couple of years ago when Trefor, Martin and myself went to see him at The Sycamore Care Home in Brighton and it was painful to see the man almost bed ridden and rambling on about how he was finding it difficult to get the band gigs, Max new nothing else. Martin called me before this Christmas just gone to see if I wanted to go and see him but after talking to the home’s management to hear that Max’ eyesight and hearing had just about packed up we decided to review the situation in the new year, but it wasn’t to be. With Ron, Jack, Phil and Trefor waiting for him there’s that great band, wherever they are, ready for bookings with a great band leader ….. So Max … we didn’t always see eye to eye but over the 35 years I knew you I always respected you and it was a great experience for me to work with you ….. Thank you for the music and R.I.P. my friend..

    • Allan Wilcox says:

      It was sometime in the early-to-mid-nineties that I first met Max Collie, who died on 6th January. I was living with my family in the north of the Netherlands, and Count John McCormick, Max’s regular bass-player at that time, had telephoned to say that they would be playing in Delfzijl, not far away. I hadn’t seen John since leaving Liverpool in 1991; so off I went for a reunion with him, and during the interval he introduced me to ‘Mad Max’ (as he called him). So began a friendship that would last for more than twenty years.
      Shortly afterwards, I received a telephone call from Max, inviting me to join the band for a three-day tour in Germany – my audition as it turned out. Before the first gig, I was badly led astray by trumpeter Denny Ilett and banjo-player Dave Bashford. We had arrived at our hotel shortly after midday and, having travelled through the night, were supposed to sleep during the afternoon in readiness for the evening gig, but these two insisted that we three should have ‘just the one’ in the hotel bar before retiring. ‘Just the one’ quickly became a sort of refrain, sung between refills; we lost track of the time, and suddenly Max appeared, refreshed and resplendent in his band uniform and horrified by the sight of us, clearly the worse for wear and by no means ready to set off for the gig. ‘That’s it,’ I thought; ‘I’ve blown it!’
      But I hadn’t. In my experience, Max was never one to bear grudges, and from then onwards I joined his band for an average of half-a-dozen such weekends per year. That number increased when we returned to Britain in 2006, and I was included in some of the gigs on this side of the channel as well. He was an effective tailgate trombonist, firmly in the New Orleans tradition, but his great gift was as a band leader: patient, caring and considerate towards his musicians, an instinctive judge of what would please an audience, but above all the inspiration behind some of the most exciting arrangements of jazz classics that I have been privileged to play. I shall always remember him with gratitude and affection.

      • Peter Butler says:

        A wonderful tribute, Allan. I only got to speak to Max just once, but that was a brilliant 30 minutes after a top rate show.

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