Radio Programmer Listening Post

Album: Flying Not Falling • Artist: Max Highstein


Album Overview Video • 8 Minutes • Full Songs Accessed Below


Flying Not Falling includes stellar performances by:

Max Highstein – piano, fretless bass, synthesizers.

John Yoakum – soprano sax, flute. Credits include Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, The Simpsons, LA Philharmonic Orchestra.

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.

Willa Roberts – vocalization. Featured with her trio Black Sea Hotel on the Grammy Award winning Yo-Yo Ma/ The Silk Road Ensemble’s latest album, Sing Me Home.

Mark Clark – drums and percussion. Credits include James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, John Popper, and Ottmar Liebert.

John Gustafson – oboe. The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Anthony Braxton, James Newton and Bob Moses.

Jesse Tatum – flute. Principal Flute of The Santa Fe Symphony and the Opera Southwest Orchestra.

Daniel Ward – Spanish guitar. Daniel toured worldwide with Ottmar Liebert, and is a ukulele genius.

Jay Rusty Crutcher – alto sax. Special appearance on “Let’s Talk.” A brilliant artist in his own right on the Emerald Green New Age record label.



1. Flying Not Falling • Catchy & Exuberant • 3:41

2. Dreamwalk • Deep & Mesmerizing • 5:00

3. Frank & Mandy • Cheerful & Virtuosic • 4:10

4. Earthtones • Rich & Haunting • 6:28

5. Lily Pads • Soft & Meditative • 4:54

6. Lake Shrine • Exotic & Rhythmic • 8:26

7. Helium • Fizzy & Uplifting • 4:30

8. Simon & Michael • Sophisticated & Engrossing • 6:06

9. Let’s Talk • Catchy & Traditional • 5:00

10. New Girlfriend • Kooky & Cool • 4:00

11. Olive Branch • Classical & Sweet • 4:07



I am listening right now to your 8 minute preview, and it is just stunning. Such thoughtful compositions, beautiful production, and the instrumentation is gorgeous. I am especially pulled in by the piano and the flute, but of course it is how the whole ensemble comes together that makes the piece so special.” – White Sun (Gurujas Khalsa). Best New Age Album Grammy Winner, 2017 


“This is absolutely lovely, I agree with Gurujas!”Wouter Kellerman Best New Age Album Grammy Winner, 2015


“Flying Not Falling is musical magic! The arrangements are fresh and original, the production is superb, and the performances brim with wonderful surprises. This music lends us wings!” — Rob Whitesides Woo, Composer & Serenity Recording Artist

More Kind Words for Flying Not Falling

I really enjoyed listening to Flying Not Falling this morning. Each Grammy Voting season there are a handful of CD’s that I set aside and listen to on regular basis going forward, this is one those. Your music is fresh and up-lifting. I love the combination of instruments and sounds. Here’s hoping your dreams become reality.” Dan Griffith

I have finally gotten a chance to sit down and really listen to “Flying Not Falling”. First of all, the packaging is lovely. The mix is awesome. Your compositions are all unique. You and your musicians are wonderful. I really love how uplifting all the music is, not cloying like so many New Age submissions. My favorites are “Earthtones”…should be part of a soundtrack! Lake Shrine…which makes me want to go out into the woods and listen to it again. Also Helium…floats…as it should, I suppose. I’m listening to “Let’s Talk” right now, which I think would lend itself nicely to lyrics. Anyway, this is on the top of my New Age list. Thank you for reaching out! Good luck.” — Sarah Partridge

I absolutely Adore “Flying Not Falling”!!!! The title cut is of course my favorite but I love them all!!! I listen every day!” — Cindy Hughlett

I like your light touch and instrumentation. Your counter melodies. Dreamwalk is particularly compelling and always going somewhere new and inviting. I like the interesting use of synth on Frank and Mandy. That was a pleasant unexpected timbre. Other standouts for me are Lake Shrine and New Girlfriend . I love your subtle use of syncopation on Lake Shrine and I love the authentic melody and vibe of New Girlfriend. Overall, fantastic job and good luck this year…. more… Max i am enjoying your album and I love your dog flying video. I love the arrangements a fun energy of your work. Earthtones is my favorite. I love the countermelodies and subtle rhythmic arrangement. New Girlfriend is also a favorite. I love how overall your music dances and the instruments interplay.” — Sean Mendleson

“Flying Not Falling is still in the CD deck in my car, as it’s one of the really good ones. I know the album very well. You’ve produced a beautiful work… the production with such clarity that brings the featured musicians’ instruments is so near, you might as well be there. This album is truly lovely. Your choice in ebb & flow is satisfying, and before you realize, it’s over, & it’s playing again! A lot of talent going on there. I took the opportunity to listen to some of your previous work. You certainly get ‘New Age’ and see the development of the genre. It’s a pleasure to listen too.” — Dexter Chord

“I put it on and I danced. It made me feel the true innocence and joy of being alive. So excited to move to this music every morning now. What a way to start my day. Your gift is… stunningly beautiful. An opening of the heart.” — Victoria

“I listened to Flying not Falling. Wow! There’s is something that brings you hope and joy listening to this album. The winds, the strings, the keyboards, the percussion all blend in in a harmonious and crafty way. It’s like taking a journey through wonderland. Each track has a tiny universe of its own, but there is coherence in everything. One starts to feel a faster pace starting from Helium, and finishing with a gentle stroll with Olive Branch is perfect. Thank you for the Journey!” – Tri Nguyen