Max Highstein | Hotcakes Review


Max Highstein | Hotcakes Review

by Bea Willis

New Mexico-based artist Max Highstein continues to be as prolific as ever. His affinity for multi-instruments is a cornerstone of his unique sound. His latest offering is titled, Hotcakes. The album is a scrumptious cornucopia of treats and delights. Joined by Ed Willett: Cello, Judy Mitchell: Accordion, Jeff Pevar: Guitar on “First Day Out,” Mark Clark: Drum Kit, and Congas. Highstein focuses on a mellow sound that keeps your foot tapping throughout.

“Low Hanging Fruit” has a deep groove that invokes a multi-layered approach with memorable hook lines that repeat and deepen with each passing. Highstein is front and center on saxophone on this one; his note choices for his soloing and commentary are superb. It must also be stated that Highstein plays organ on this cut, and the swampy groove created is palatable in its essence and track namesake.

As my appetite grew for the album, I could not leave out “Hotcakes.” A poppy smooth-jazz tune that once again settled into an infectious groove that was very satisfying. Highstein, with guitar in hand, stirs up the buttery goodness with a groovy solo, then jumping onto the saxophone, he heats up the griddle with bends and curves that add up to a memorable melodic solo. But, wait, what ok, Highstein does not stop there; he then jumps onto the ivories, and spins out a whirling guitar solo. Next, the man of many instruments injects an organ solo. Oh wow, are you feeling hungry yet? This musical chef is serving it up.

Hotcakes, the album has a lot to offer, too much to cover in one review. So, my advice, take a spin yourself with any of the online outlets and get your cup of mojo, sweets, and treats and put this one on repeat.



Release Date: October 21, 2021

Label: Desert Heart

About the author

Author Bea Willis
Bea Willis

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