Saury Maxim

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Saury Maxim

Saury, Maxim, jazz clarinetist, leader; b. Enghienles-Bains, France, Feb. 27, 1928. His father, a violinist, did not encourage him to study music, and when his mother began teaching him violin, he was not enthusiastic about playing. At age 15, he heard clarinetist Hubert Rostaing play with Django Reinhardt and became excited. Saury took enough clarinet lessons to be able to join Christian Azzi’s amateur band in 1946. In 1947, he was hired by Claude Boiling and won a prize as best amateur clarinetist at a Brussels festival. He recorded and performed with Boiling during 1948–53 while also gigging with others and leading his own small bands. From 1954–67, he played traditional jazz in Paris with his band the New Orleans Sound. His band performed with visiting American jazzmen Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Barney Bigard, Bill Coleman, and Peanuts Holland. He also recorded with Holland, Mezz Mezzrow, and Sammy Price. During the 1960s, Saury undertook many tours around the world and played at major European jazz festivals; however, he cut back on his club work. He played in the U.S. with Barney Bigard (1968), with Claude Luter to celebrate Louis Armstrong (1970), and for the American bicentennial (1976).


Mezzrow Meets Saury (1955); Rendez- vous a la Nouvelle-Orl100e91ans (1961); Slow Time (1963); Maxi, Maxim, Maximum (1968).

—Lewis Porter