At the age of early mustaches Albert Maksimov, as he claims himself, was suddenly het up about playing the guitar. In 1979 he created one of the first rock bands appearing at that time on the territory of the former USSR under the name “Master”. Naturally, he composed the music and wrote the lyrics by himself. In their turn, the Kyiv authorities applied a healthy preventive approach toward him: to chill out his love to the “vicious” rhythms he was drafted to the army.
It did not help though. After demobilization Albert Maksimov graduated from the Kyiv Medical University, arming himself with the knowledge to fight diseases like cholera and plague. But eventually he put his white coat in the closet and set out for travel to explore Turkey, Bulgaria and Israel. He didn’t travel alone, but with his pal, which by the way was his eternal friend – the harmonica.
And the passion for his pal did not prevent him from sharing with everybody else interested his intimate experience of close communication with his friend i.e. making sounds on the harmonica. It should be noted here that the harmonica, the age mate of the saxophone, was the first pocket player of the humankind, with one only difference that it required from its owner rather an active approach than a passive one – just playing. If in its early stage of popularization it was more often seen in the hands of the pink-cheeked kids of the Burgers, it eventually became a traveling instrument, par excellence, of the immigrants.
And if on the verge of the 19th century the German, Italian, Polish and Irish immigrants squeezed and twiddled harmonica in hands to produce the melodies of their abounded countries, the days to come in the 20th century saw an inevitable American synthesis. The sum of the memories could be converted into nothing else but the national American music – jazz. The Americans called the harmonica a mouth organ, which sounds ambiguous and stands for either the organ played by mouth or just an organ… Both meanings are correct. There is one more name for the harmonica – “mouth harp”.
The harmonica in jazz was first of all the blues instrument, which gives it its third name - the blues harp. Among the famous blues harmonica players these are the most remarkable: Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton, Little Water, Sonny Terry and, of course, Sugar Blue. Among the contemporary jazz harmonica masters perhaps nobody else advanced as far as the guitar player Toots Thielemans. It is worth mentioning Larry Adler who played with the Django Reinhardt and Eddie Shu, a member of the Gene Krup’s orchestra in 50s.
Eddie Shu used to change his sax by his out-of-the-pocket “baby blues”, the harmonica… The CD “Not Only Jazz” recorded by Albert Maksimov with the friends, in the first instance fills our grateful ears with the vibrant enthusiasm of the man who once and for all got contaminated by the music and jazz in particular. This should be kept in mind: the CD itself hardly needs any comments, all is ok with it; it rather must be listened to! And if your body suddenly responds to it by the rhythmic excitement or unexpected pulsation, it means that the former epidemiologist has successfully contaminated you by this wonderful and incurable disease - jazz. Dmitriy Savitskiy, "Radio Liberty" "49 minutes of Jazz" Paris Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..