Billy Maxted 1 of 6
Don McGregor September 21, 04
I only heard Billy Maxted play once, at the old Colonial Tavern in Toronto in the '60s. The Colonial was Yonge Street just above Queen in the heart of the dowtown, and around the corner on Queen was the Town Tavern which featured bebop players such as Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Donald Byrd and Pepper Addams, the great duo of Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. The Colonial tended to bring the older players such as Vic Dickenson and Red Richards, Muggsy Spanier and for many years a band fronted by Buck Clayton. I think Maxted's appearance leading his "New York City Jazz Band" was the only time he was in Toronto in those years, and his bandmembers wore red tuxedos and all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. Highlight of the evening was a by request solo performance by Billy Maxted of (as I recall) Little Rock Getaway. It was a brilliant, even virtuoso, rendering of a traditional tune, and showed Maxted to be not only a fine arranger and frontman for his band, but a brilliant soloist as well.
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