Max Middleton

max_middleton_rkbMax started taking piano lessons with a neighborhood teacher at age 14 after his mother bought him a piano.

One of his school teachers brought in records by Ray Charles and Thelonius Monk which were eye-openers for Max. He didn’t even own a record player, so his father borrowed one from somebody at work. He was then able to listen and absorb the styles of his greatest influences, who were Thelonius Monk, Erroll Garner. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Ray Charles, and later, Stevie Wonder

His first big-time job was with Jeff Beck, whom he met through a mutual friend, Clive Charmin. Charmin became the bass player with Beck, and Jeff invited Max to join the band after they jammed together.

Middleton toured and played on the albums Rough and Ready, The Jeff Beck Group (“The orange album”) , and most notably Blow By Blow

It was between recording the first two albums that Max first heard the sounds of The Fender Rhodes and Hohner Clavinet. He already played a Wurlitzer, but would procure both of those instruments, as well as a Minimoog, as these instruments were easier to deal with on the road. He said miking his standard acoustic piano on tour was a huge hassle. Max would be admired for his keyboard contributions on these electronic instruments as well

Max playing jazz, blues and ragtime before the actual song begins