For Your Consideration: Gratitunes

Contemporary Instrumental Album

Watch the 3 Minute FYC Excerpts & Highlights Video:

GRATITUNES is filled with fresh melodies, ear-catching arrangements, and inspired performances. With Max Highstein on soprano sax, Howard Levy (harmonica), Rusty Crutcher (alto & tenor sax), Ed Willett (cello) and more.

Exquisite melodies are what truly set Max Highstein’s music apart—so fresh, seemingly effortless yet rich, born of joy, that find a permanent place in my heart. And the performances are, as always, world class.” ~

Dave Kinnoin, Writer/producer of Hundreds of Songs for the Muppets, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Sesame Workshop and others

Chart-Topping Album, Roots Music Report

Heady and yet playful compositions. Amazing arrangements, expertly and expressively played. That’s the stuff of Max Highstein, and he has done it again with this opus magnum. I recommend sitting back with a glass of your favorite beverage and drinking in this album. You will not regret it in the morning!

 ~ Grant Maloy Smith, Billboard Top 10 recording artist

This album is filled with unexpected twists that will make you smile, grooves that pick up your feet to make you dance, complex rhythms to entertain your intellect, and melodic swells to steal your heart. This album is FUN above all, but seriously never compromising in quality; the writing, artistry, and all aspects of engineering are polished to utmost shine!

 ~ Danaë Vlasse, Award-Winning Composer and Recording Artist.

Winner: Two Global Music Awards

Global Music Award Winner

This music makes me smile. Such a warm and rich tone. The playing is a joy to hear. Max Highstein has a wonderful voice on the soprano [saxophone], and I don’t get to say that very often, really. The production is as elegant as the melodies, too. Bravo!

 ~ Joe Giardullo, World Renown Soprano Saxophonist and Recording Artist.

GRATITUNES includes stellar performances by the following musicians:

Max Highstein – Soprano Saxophone, Piano, Fretless Bass, Mystery Instruments. All composition, arranging, and production by Max H.

Howard Levy – Harmonica. Widely considered the world’s most virtuosic harmonica player, best known for his work with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, as well as countless other credits. Plays on the songs Open To Receive and Rail Runner. His effortless playing seems to tease musical surprises out of nowhere.

Rusty Crutcher – Alto and Tenor Saxophones. Outstanding multi-instrumentalist, composer, and recording artist with 9 albums to his credit. Rusty brings the heat, brings the hurt, and then heals the pain.

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.

John Yoakum – Flute. Credits include Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, The Simpsons, LA Philharmonic Orchestra. A wind playing genius who can play anything with a hole in it and make it sound alarmingly beautiful.

Dimian Disante: Guitar. The “Everything With Excellence” guitarist and brilliant Albuquerque sideman. Has been known to cause funk spasms of joy and delight.

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.

Roger Fletcher: Trumpet. Flies below the radar; plays with stealthy devastation. All notes are coated with gold.

Mark Clark – Drums and Percussion. Credits include James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, John Popper, and Ottmar Liebert. Rhythm dripping with intelligence and charm. There is more musicality in one of Mark’s fills than in most other drum tracks combined.

There is an invitation here, one that offers you the chance to enter a sound world where you can breathe, simplify, and share in the palpable sense of joyful living and gratitude which fully permeates Max’s music. The outstanding performers are at ease with their material, and the meticulous sound design is attractive. I highly recommend this collection!

 ~ Frederick Frahm, Composer, Publisher, Music Educator

Contemporary Instrumental Album
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