maxusphoto

Legendary west coast release…

Here is another important Japanese re-release: Maxus’ selftitled album from 1981. This CD release is in fact long overdue. Many lovers of West Coast music have craved for this album to come out on CD because they for one reason or another do not own the original LP issue.

The group Maxus was: Jay Gruska (pianos, lead vocals), Robbie Buchanan (pianos, synthesizers, vocals), Mark Leonard (bass, vocals), Doane Perry (drums, vocals) and a young Michael Landau (guitars). Talk about a lot of talent in one place – phew. What was the result? Well, “Maxus” consists of nine songs all written by Jay Gruska with the assistance of various people; Robbie Buchanan among others. All songs are about the usual “love & things”, but the lyrics never appear banal or annoyingly simplistic. Incredibly strong melodies, sophisticated harmonies, elegant use of change of tempo and an overwhelming amount of wonderful instrumental contributions makes “Maxus” an unforgettable experience for anyone with a passion for West Coast music.

Jay Gruska’s lead vocal is passionate and powerful in the more up-tempo rocking tracks like for instance “The Higher You Rise”, “What You Give” and “Your Imagination” as well as in the beautiful ballads like “Keep a Light On” and “Part Of You”. Robbie Buchanan is a master behind the keyboards doing wonderful solos. Mark Leonard and Doane Perry are always imaginative but rock solid and Michael Landau makes early demonstrations of that special talent of his, which soon after earned him a reputation as a true “super” guitar player.

Everything works here – the album sounds like a genuine group effort and not merely a collection of highly skilled individual contributions. Believe it or not, but it is actually very hard to single out any tracks from this album – the high quality is so consistent and I always listen to the album in its entirety.

Bill Champlin, Tommy Funderburk and Jennifer Williams helps with the smooth background vocals (what a treat) and Paulinho Da Costa adds percussion here and there. And it is all hold together by Michael Omartians wonderfully tight, dynamic and natural sounding production.

Sadly Maxus turned out to be a short lived experience for everyone involved – except for us the fans. Their only album has stood the test of time – 18 years after the original release “Maxus” still qualifies as a genuine, indispensible West Coast music masterpiece! We are talking about long lasting goosebumps here – waaaauuuuuuw!

…now if I only win the lottery on Saturday maybe I can convince these guys to do a follow-up album? Hmmmm, wouldn’t it be wonderful?!

Discography

Maxus

Vivid Records 2010

Tracks: The Higher You Rise, Nobody´s Business, What You Give, Keep A Light On, Your Imagination, They Danced, Part Of You, Don´t Try To Stop Me Now & Where Were You.

Musicians on the Maxus album: Jay Gruska, Michael Landau, Robbie Buchanan, Mark Leonard, Doane Perry, Paulinho Da Costa, Michael Omartian, Jennifer Williams, Tommy Funderburk & Bill Champlin.

Maxus

Warner Music 1981

Tracks: The Higher You Rise, Nobody´s Business, What You Give, Keep A Light On, Your Imagination, They Danced, Part Of You, Don´t Try To Stop Me Now & Where Were You.

Musicians on the Maxus album: Jay Gruska, Michael Landau, Robbie Buchanan, Mark Leonard, Doane Perry, Paulinho Da Costa, Michael Omartian, Jennifer Williams, Tommy Funderburk & Bill Champlin.

Previous

Comments are closed.

  • Blue Desert Newsletter