Neil Maxa

Los Angeles Jazz Scene




     During the past couple of decades, trombonist Neil Maxa has been active on the Las Vegas music scene, playing behind many top acts and in show bands. However, like the late Carl Fontana (who also worked steadily in Las Vegas), Maxa is a fluent and boppish trombone soloist who deserved to be heard.

   On his recent EP, Maxa is joined by pianist Dave Loeb, bassist Steve Flora and drummer Bob Chmel for five songs totaling 25 minutes. The music is a delight and will remind some of Frank Rosolino's playing in the 1950's and 60's. Maxa has an extroverted style and obviously knows straight ahead jazz very well.

   The set is comprised of Rosolino's "Blue Daniel" (usually a waltz, it is swung here in 4/4), a faster-than-usual version of "Emily", the Rosolino medium-tempo blues "Free For ALL", Blue Mitchell's "Fungii Mama" and Hank Mobley's "This I Dig Of You". Throughout this spirited program, which included a few fine Loeb solos, the focus is mostly on the trombonist who is in consistently joyous form.

   This is fun and swinging music that is well worth discovering. Volia is available from              

                                                             Scott Yanow