Max Beesley’s High Vibes – Zeus (ENG review)


Max Beesley is both an actor and a comedian. To explore his career, you can visit this page. In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Max Beesley is a musician, and his compositions are heavily influenced by funk. Given that funk is arguably the musical genre closest to jazz, his album “Zeus” straddles both genres. “Zeus” is the debut full-length album from Max Beesley’s ensemble, High Vibes. The group had previously released two classics in 12-inch format on the Boogie Back Records label during the height of the Acid Jazz movement in 1993/1994.
For “Zeus,” Beesley set out to create something special and enlisted some of the world’s greatest session musicians to play on the album. Steve Gadd, a longtime friend and collaborator since their work on George Benson’s 1996 album “That’s Right,” joined the project. Gadd suggested that his good friend Walt Fowler would be an excellent addition for flugelhorn and trumpet solos. Other musicians were carefully chosen by Max Beesley to form High Vibes, resulting in a stunning, radiant, vibrant, and exciting album. Notable among them is the excellent Christian Sands on keyboards, an artist associated with Mack Avenue (, whose contribution truly enhances the group.
The Horn House completed the lineup of musicians, with Nichol Thomson on trombone, Tom Walsh on trumpet, and Mike Davis adding trumpet on certain tracks. These brass musicians are Max’s favorites, and Nichol and Max arranged all the brass parts, resulting in an electrifying outcome.
Attempting to categorize English and American funk into the same box may be futile, even though there are obvious connections. Once again, the English side sometimes leans towards “classical” music in its arrangements, provided one can discern it. High Vibes has its own distinct identity, and this album is sure to impress both funk and jazz enthusiasts. Not only is the group a collection of immense talents, but the album also stands out due to its inspirations and originality. Christian Sands appears to have had a great time within this group, propelled by a particularly remarkable rhythm section. From start to finish, this album is a genuine delight, earning it a place among the “essentials” according to the reviews from Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 3rd 2024


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All songs Written and Produced by Max Beesley
Co produced by Jerry Meehan
Engineered by Alex Williams
Mixed by Max Beesley and Alex Williams
Recorded at The Village Recorder Studio Santa Monica Jan 2021

Vibraphone: MAX BEESLEY
Drums: STEVE GADD Trk’s 2,3,4,7, MAX BEESLEY 1, 5, 6, 8.
Flugel and Trumpet solo’s: WALT FOWLER
Percussion: LUIS CONTE Trk’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. MAX BEESLEY Trk 7
Trumpet: TOM WALSH
String arrangements: MAX BEESLEY
Mastered at THE BAKERY by ERIC BOULANGER Sony Pictures, Culver City, Los Angeles