Max Weinberg 7 at Iridium: Conan Bandleader, Springsteen Drummer Plays Classic Jazz
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The last date listed for Max Weinberg 7 was Saturday September 24, 2011 / 10:00pm.
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The band includes Brandon Wright, John Bailey, Dave Kikowski, Cameron Brown. Saxophonist Mindi Abair joins the group on September 22 and 23, 2011.
Max Weinberg says, “I’m old enough to remember when “a night on the town” included a great meal at a nightclub in New York City and a performance by entertainers like The Buddy Rich Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Bobby Darin’s Orchestra, Sammy Davis Jr. and so many others who created a golden era of musical variety. I’ve been so fortunate to not only see so many of my favorite legendary performers but, with my work on both the Late Night and The Tonight Show programs, I’ve had the opportunity to perform with such greats as Tony Bennett, BB King, Isaac Hayes (performing a classic “Shaft” with a twenty-five piece orchestra of my own design), grow as a musician, and finally take my act on the road."
Referred to by Robert Palmer of _The New York Times _as “the rhythmic backbone of The E Street Band," Max was featured with the band during the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII from Tampa, Florida which happened to be the largest TV audience in Super Bowl history (over 105,000,000). It was also a great game. Most recently Max was featured with Bruce and The E Street Band on the HBO special The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary, which was recorded live at Madison Square garden in October of 2009 and repeatedly broadcast on the network during December of that year.
Performing on the classic album Born In The USA put Max and the rest of his E Street cohorts in the record books as having the biggest selling rock album in history. Though citing his work through the years with Bruce and The E Street Band as, “the attainment of everything a twelve year old drummer from the suburbs of Jersey ever dared to dream,” Max has kept himself busy for nearly four decades performing with the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, Tom Jones, Ringo Starr (on Ringo’s drums!), Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bono of U2, Levon Helm and the Band. Of particular importance and one of Max’s biggest thrills was backing Tony Bennett on television, a venue where Mr. Bennett rarely performed without his own group.
“I think playing with Tony Bennett opened my eyes to what I might actually be able to do if I worked hard at my music to eventually step away from the rock genre. Tony was swingin’ and he told me and my band that we swung him. That was huge for me and I can directly link that first performance in 1997 with sparking my interest in creating my own Big Band.”
Along with a thousand concerts in arenas and stadiums all over the world as a member of The E Street Band, Max has performed in the East Room of the White House with the Navy Big Band (2006), the Grammy Awards (2003,2005), and the televised Presidential Inaugural Galas (1993, 1996). He served as the music director for 1998’s Comic Relief starring Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal. During that performance Max had the unique opportunity of rim-shotting “Mr. Television”, Milton Berle. What a night!
Of his _Tonight Show _days Max is philosophic: “It was a great honor to see my name in the same sentence as Doc Severinsen. Any music I’ve played on TV with my own group and now the Big Band has links directly to the influence Doc, drummer Ed Shaunessy and the best Tonight Show Band in its 56 year history had on me.”
Through the years Max also worked as a session musician, enjoying particular success in connection with songwriter Jim Steinman. Weinberg drummed on the immensely popular Meatloaf album, Bat Out Of Hell. At one point in 1983 Max was featured on the number 1 and number 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.” Both written by Steinman.
Weinberg is also the author of The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Great Drummers, a series of interviews Max conducted over two years with his favorite drummers from different eras, including Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, Levon Helm, and Elvis’ original, longtime drummer D.J. Fontana, whom Max had the pleasure of inducting into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009. The book captured drummers revealing why they played drums, not how to play the drums, and is considered an important addition to rock literature.
Weinberg is a past winner of Playboy’s Pop and Jazz Music Poll as Best Drummer as well as Rolling Stone Magazine’s Critics Poll as Best Drummer.
And as stated earlier, he continues that excellence today with the creation and presentation of his Big Band. His credo: “…show up, do a good job, and give the people more than their money’s worth” has been a mission to which Max has committed himself throughout his career.