21 January – Billy Maxted

Billy Maxted (21 January 1917 – 11 October 2001) was an American jazz pianist – largely forgotten today because his recordings were mostly for tiny labels.

Maxted started out playing and arranging for the Red Nichols big band from 1937 to 1940. He also worked with Ben Pollack, Teddy Powell and Will Bradley in the 1940s.

After serving in the Navy he provided arrangements for Benny Goodman and Claude Thornhill and co-led a band with Ray Eberle (1947–1948). In the late 1940s, he put together his own Dixieland group – the Manhattan Jazz Band.

In New York, Maxted was a fixture at Nick’s in Greenwich Village. He lived in Long Island for much of his life before moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1961.

In the 1950s, he recorded for MGM, Brunswick, Cadence and Seeco, with sidemen including trumpeter Chuck Forsyth, trombonist Lee Gifford, Sol Pace or Dan Tracey on clarinet, and bass saxophonist Johnny Dengler. In 1959, Maxted’s composition ‘Manhattan Spiritual’ was a top-10 hit for Reg Owen.

Maxted recorded more albums, for Liberty and the K&H label, in the 1960s. And in 1961, he reached the Billboard ‘Bubbling Under The Top 100’ chart with a swing version of ‘Satin Doll’.

Information from All Music and Wikipedia


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