David Maxwell has amassed an enormous resume throughout the years playing piano with some of the greatest and most well-known musicians in the blues. David's style encompasses elements of blues and jazz, but he is best known for his soulful virtuosity and unmatched ability to reach the heart of post-war Chicago Blues. Through his work, he has gained the respect of artists, critics and fans and has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists alive.
While growing up just outside of Boston in the 1960's, David frequented the legendary Club 47, Jazz Workshop and Paul's Mall and was exposed to such blues greats as Skip James, Son House, Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters. Through his friendship with Muddy, David was able to study the intricate lines of Otis Spann - Muddy's longtime pianist - who quickly became David's mentor and biggest influence. From 1966 until Spann's death in 1970, David absorbed Otis' rhythmic sense, deft use of both hands, and ability to shine while performing in a band setting - complementing the others, allowing the music to breathe, but still attaching a personal touch to the music. David also became friends with and formed important relationships with Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland Slim and John Lee Hooker.
In 1972, David sat in with Freddie King and soon became the legendary guitarist's piano player - touring both the US and Europe with tour dates at the Montreux and Ann Arbor Jazz Festivals, and at Madison Square Garden. David's reputation among the blues crowd grew quickly, and throughout the 1970's he was called upon to do stints with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Otis Rush among others, playing festival and club dates with some of the greatest blues players ever. He also was part of the house band at the Speakeasy in Cambridge, backing many touring performers in the mid-seventies.
David soon returned to his home base of Boston, where from 1983-1989 he organized the house band at Nightstage in Cambridge, MA. He formed his own band, David Maxwell and the Blues Wizards, who backed such luminaries as Albert King, Lowell Fulson and Hubert Sumlin when they came through the city. David complemented these dates with festival tours with Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and Johnny Adams before joining Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters as their full-time pianist from 1990 to 1992, performing on five different albums and touring the US and Europe. After his stint with the Broadcasters, David did several tours with Jimmy Rogers, went to Japan for the second time with Otis Rush and toured Europe with Otis and John Primer. Over the years, David has also travelled to India, Morocco, Thailand and Indonesia with tape recorder in hand and occasionally performing.
He is currently touring as a featured performer of the James Cotton trio and is highlighted on Cotton's 1997 Grammy Award winning album, Deep in the Blues. David is in extremely high demand and has recently contributed to albums by John Primer, Bob Margolin, and Paul Oscher. He is often compared to Otis Spann, for his ability to resurrect the spirit and sound of the master of post-war Chicago Blues piano, but David is no mere imitation. He has created a style and sound uniquely his own. His diverse experiences, technical virtuosity, sense of timing and rhythm, and ability to complement the others in the music has earned David a reputation as one of the finest blues pianists alive.
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