Max Kaminsky

Max Kaminsky, a reliable Dixieland musician, was often featured with Eddie Condon’s gang during the 1940s and 1950s. He was an early player in Boston, and a veteran of Chicago’s 1920s, where he played with Condon, Frank Teschemacher and Bud Freeman. Kaminsky moved to New York in 1929. He had a brief stint with Red Nichols, and then he worked in commercial bands. However, he did get opportunities to record with Condon (1933-1934), Benny Carter (1933-1934), and Mezz Mezzrow (1933-1934). Kaminsky’s work with Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra (1936) earned him some fame, including broadcasts with an earlier version of the Clambake Seven. After a brief stint with Artie Shaw in 1938, he returned to TD and was then perfectly at home in Bud Freeman’s loose Summa Cum Laude Orchestra (1939-1940). After a few periods with Tony Pastor (1940-1941), and Artie Shaw’s 1942 Orchestra, Kaminsky joined the military. He played with Shaw’s Navy Band across the Pacific. Maxie was a star in Eddie Condon’s Town Hall concerts (1944-1945), and he began recording as a Commodore leader (1944). He played in Condon’s bands as well as his own group, wrote one the greatest memoirs (Jazz Band, My Life in Jazz), was open to new styles, even jamming with Charlie Parker, but he kept his straight-forward approach. In 1959, he toured the Far East alongside Jack Teagarden. After a decade of semiretirement, he was a regular at Jimmy Ryan’s for decades. He died as one of the last remaining Condonites. Max Kaminsky was a leader in Commodore (1954), Victor (1954), Jazztone (1973), Winchester (1977), United Artists (1977), Fat Cat Jazz (1977), and Jazztone (1954). Allmusic

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