Hotcakes – Coming 10/21/22

Max Highstein’s latest release, Hotcakes, brings his sax playing to the forefront. His reed sound is bold without being strident; singing and whimsical on soprano sax, and funk inspired on alto and tenor. He also surprises on guitar, handily laying down slippery solos and smooth backing rhythms on several tracks. Four of the tunes are vocal pieces, with catchy lyrics and a personable, rich delivery.


Highstein’s music is rooted in rock, jazz, and funk, with an emphasis on catchy melodies, intricate arrangements, and inspired solos. The playing and production is musical and artfully assembled, reminiscent in some ways of Steely Dan, Sting, or Little Feat.

Hotcakes includes longtime Highstein side musicians Ed Willet on cello, and Mark Clark on drums. Willet is one of the few classically trained string players who can effectively cross over to other genres, and if cello could ever be said to bring the funk, he does it here. Clark has a versatile and deft hand, and capably underpins Highstein’s musical vision with color and energy. Judy Mitchell adds charming and in-the-pocket accordion licks. Guitar veteran Jeff Pevar lends supple support on the final song on Hotcakes.

Hotcakes is a generous and well-crafted set of inspired compositions; the music of a fully mature artist/composer in full command of his artistic process.

HOTCAKES includes brilliant performances by the following musicians:

Max Highstein – Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Piano, Organ, Guitar, Fretless Bass. All composition, arranging, and production by Max H.

Ed Willett – Cello. Willett has performed with the Honolulu Symphony and Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and toured worldwide with pop/rock icon Rickie Lee Jones. Every note Ed plays can break your heart. Hear Ed Willett’s playing and singing with his wonder duo, Chance.

Judy Mitchell– Accordion. An outstanding accordionist and feature player with Almazazz. Her hard swinging yet subtle playing will give you an automatic accordion contact high.

Jeff Pevar– Guitar on First Day Out. Super-slippery guitarist with Ray Charles, David Crosby, Little Feat live stand-in.

Mark Clark – Drums and Percussion. Credits include James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, John Popper, and Ottmar Liebert. Rhythm dripping with intelligence and charm.