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We gratefully acknowledge inspiration from the exquisite liner note writings of STAN CORNYN. Max Moody Jazz is a member of The Alliance of Musicians & Performers.
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With grateful acknowledgement to the liner notes and writing style of STAN CORNYN.
The audience sit with show-me faces, wondering if this band’s really worth their attention.
Then Dr. PJ oozes some depth, and the sound melts into them. Des Res strokes the neck of his guitar, flanging his fingers across the silver strings. And Max leans into the mike again, plugging himself into the audience, transfusing something across the five yards of air between his voice and their hearts.
The way Moody sings sounds so easy, so right. He lines out the lyric, but the band is selling something else; tender melodies. Tender like a two-day, lobster-red Rio sunburn, so tender they’d scream agony if handled too roughly. Slap one of these fragile songs on the back with a couple of hard trumpets? Like washing crystal glass in a cement mixer.
This one they play soft, the next they swing, united in a sensual act of rhythm, teasing all the life from each classic song.
The audience get drawn in. They listen hard and their minds run the fantasy common to all grown men and women - you know the one - the fantasy which places you in the starring role of your own movie. A Fine Romance, which straps you into the driving seat, womb tight, and sends you roaring along rain-soaked streets and blue-lit alleyways.
Moody sings of the penny days. Of the rose-lipped girls and toffee apple times. Of green winds, that first kiss and the girl with perfumed hair. April thoughts. Like he’s lived enough for two lives, he sings now of September. Of the bruising days. Of chill winds, ruby lips and bourbon times. A time of love. A time to sing.
There’s no phony “American” phrasing along the way. No pretending. It all just comes straight out from the heart, all the way. And when he sings, he doesn’t look at you. He looks about six inches behind your eyes. A little closer to where truth lives.
So the man’s got the cool Jazz singer thing down. But that’s not it. That’s not what he’s selling this audience. If you want to pick a word for it, pick one in seven easy letters: Honesty.
To know and feel the stuff that these songs are made of, to be that Stranger in the Night, you have to be long rid of puppy fat. You can’t sing that way until you’ve been belly to belly with Reality a few times. You have to give away years of life to win those memories; the insight and perspective to grace each song with a poet’s vision.
He’s singing about us – not in our Sunday best – but surprised in our stinkiest sneakers.
He’s giving them the real deal. And they know it.