Instrumental smooth jazz/experimental artist Perry, aka Max Clemmons Jr., releases his brand-new album, Maximize, revealing mesmerizing layers of jazz embellished by a groove-heavy, downtempo hip-hop backbone.
Talking about his music, Perry says, “I just want to make people happy.”
He goes on to share that his music is “a synthesis of musical forms that I enjoy which I define as kind of Neo-Retro.”
Perry started playing piano when he was eight years old when his father purchased a second-hand piano. Initially, he played by ear, listening to artists such as Earth, Wind, and Fire, Jeff Lorber, Pleasure, and Heatwave, as well as Chick Corea.
He played on Yogi Horton’s “Billy Who,” and wrote a song for his cousin Joe Clemmons called “Dancing For Your Love” on Spider Web Records.
Maximize features eight tracks. Entry points include “Do You,” which rides a funky rhythm imbued with hints of hip-hop and contemporary jazz. Perry’s piano gives the melody sparkling colors as string accents sweep across the backdrop.
“Dinner Table” rolls out on hip-hop-lite savors, especially in the beat, as a flute provides plush sonic textures. Whereas “Baby Making Music” delivers low-slung washes of silky jazz. Nigel Innis’ saxophone, sumptuous and seductive, speaks in the sonic language of love. This is a deliciously chill and sexy song.
The title track travels on a funk-lite rhythm as soft strings add glowing filaments. The feel and mood of “Maximize” percolate with alluring layers of coloration. “Criss Cross,” is another cashmere tune. Once again, Nigel Innis’ swanky sax takes precedence, infusing the tune with voluptuous timbres as Perry’s elegant piano holds the melody in place. “Criss Cross” is perhaps the best song on the album.
The final track, aptly titled “Finale,” showcases Perry’s exquisite talent on the piano.
Wow! Maximize is marvelously wrought, rife with luscious jazz leitmotifs forming stylish tiers rippling with residual energy. Don’t miss this one.