The story of the man named Max Polyakov and his music exploits cannot be completely told without a mention of the EOS bar where he encountered the music and done many live performances after his professional debut. It is a story of a parent who wanted his son to become passionate about the thing he was passionate about too. But the passion that the son developed for the art became so huge that he had to delve in as a participant rather than a spectator.
Max Polyakov was born in Bucharest around the late 1970s. The city of Bucharest stands as the capital city of Romania. It stands as the capital of culture, finance, industry, and art of the country and this is where Max Polyakov was born. When it comes to music and arts, it should be noted that the highest recording labels in the country are located in Bucharest. Because of this, most of the musicians in the country reside here. Around the 1970s and 1980s, the rock bands of the country were very popular, and their popularity has not waned even one bit up until today. Now, around the neighborhoods of Bucharest, Oriental, Manele, and Roma influenced sounds were prevalent. But the blues and jazz scene was and still is very rich. The jazz profile of the city started picking up around the 1960s and got to the highest point around 2002. The most prevalent genres of jazz at the moment are the Art jazz and the Green Hours, with the presence of American jazz tilt very heavy on all of them.
Max Polyakov was born into a family of 5 children. He was the last of the 3 males and the 3rd child of his parents. Now, he is not from a wealthy family, but because of the nice economy of the country, he grew up receiving excessive love from his parents and his siblings. His intellectual prowess among the kids also endeared him to all, albeit causing some form of envy amongst his brothers and sisters.
Max Polyakov’s father worked with a government agency in the capital while the mum was a seamstress, and they were comfortable in their own rights. However, while the mum embraced the blues genre of music, his dad was a heavy and passionate jazz lover. For Petra, the mum, blues was the music that always reminded her about the good old days with Max’s father. They were tugged deep into their teenage love and affection that later resulted in the family in question. They were a very closely knit home, so love was very evident. Ivan, on the other hand, was simply at home with jazz, and it was the type of music that lifted his soul. It reminded him about the never say die till die attitude that has brought him thus far in life after losing his father at a very tender age. Because of his love for jazz music, Ivan Polyakov introduced his son Max to the same music genre. He was in the habit of taking him to the EOS bar to watch live jazz performances by Romanian artists. The outings at EOS were to shape his love for music, tilting it to a passion for jazz that the father would later be proud of.
Jazz music originated from the African American communities. The particular place where jazz was first played was in New Orleans, United States. It is a music genre of the late 19th and early 20th century, and it has some links to blues and ragtime. Many people regard jazz music as the American classical music genre. From the 1920s which is regarded as the jazz age till date, this music that Max Polyakov loves so much became a major source of expression in the world. Jazz music developed into popular and independent traditional styles of music with links to European American and African American sounds. It had a very strong orientation for live performance. Jazz as a music is characterized by blues and swing notes, improvisation and polyrhythms, and call and response vocal.
Ivan Polyakov made it a point of duty to drag the little Max with him whenever he visited the EOS to enjoy live jazz performances. The songs that Max Polyakov heard at that tender age registered in his memory and created a lasting impression in his psyche. He used to enjoy every move made by the upcoming jazz artists at the EOS, and because of this, he started developing the desire to be like them. But this desire was not fanned into flame until that fateful evening.
Ivan and Max Polyakov have just returned from a normal evening at the EOS. Max was relaxing in the living room. His dad who was about to work on some files he brought home from the office changed the music that was playing on their vinyl system to one of Louis Armstrong’s jazz songs. The mix of the saxophone and trumpet was amazing and Max could not talk until the music finished playing. He was silenced in utter surprise as to how the saxophone and trumpet sound could be so clear and systematically blended. For him, it was far better than what he had been enjoying at the EOS. He walked to his father’s table and asked about the song. His father explained to him that it was a song by one of the best jazz musicians of all time named Louis Armstrong. There and then, Max Polyakov vowed to learn how to play the trumpet and saxophone the same way it was played in the record he just listened to.
It should be noted that it was in 1924 that Louis Armstrong joined the Fletcher Henderson dance band for one year as a soloist. Coming as a master of the jazz music of his hometown, he took the Fletcher Henderson band to a whole new level. He focused on soloists and arrangements. He focused his solos on chords instead of melodies as the band emphasized. The solos from Armstrong were instrumental in making jazz an amazing language of the 20th century. He formed his own group when he left Henderson’s group, and in the new group, he made scat singing popular.
So, Max Polyakov had to go in search of more information about Armstrong when his father told him about his jazz exploits. When he found out about Armstrong’s solos and the innovation he brought to jazz, he decided to model his already chosen jazz career after this scat singing system. Max Polyakov later enrolled in the nearby music academy where he studied the trumpet and saxophone. Of course, we are talking about a very brilliant young man who has not failed to finish on top of his class in music. His father and mother gave him the basics in music. He learned the first sofa notation and keys from them early in life, so he was coming in with a good foundation. At 15, Max Polyakov had perfected the act of playing the trumpet and saxophone and was ready to join his peers at the EOS to perform live jazz.
The first day he appeared at the EOS to render one of Armstrong’s jazz songs, it was a breathtaking encounter. By that time, his father had been made one of the directors of the jazz club because of his patronage. So, everybody knew that the son of their director was about to start performing. But that was not what made the event unique. The event was amazing because Max Polyakov found a way of fusing some personal and creative effects in the jazz music of Armstrong. He sought out some local videos and effects and fused them into the major songs that people already knew. The result was something very classical and yet homely.
After a few months of live performances at the EOS bar with other jazz musicians, a special status was developed for Max Polyakov. He was awarded the solo performer on Friday nights. Of course, on Fridays, the bar welcomes more visitors than on other days. So, Max was given the exclusive right to wow them with amazing classical jazz music every Friday evening there. From this, he built a very enviable career that later took him beyond the EOS and Bucharest. He traveled around the world entertaining people with jazz.
18 January, 2019
Max Polyakov often accompanied his father anytime he went to EOS bar to listen to jazz singers. The songs that Max listened to at EOS bar stuck on his mind. He got interested in becoming a jazz performer and this desire grew after he heard Armstrong Louis’ jazz…
Of course, we have said it in the beginning that jazz music cannot be removed from the African Americans. It was actually a music genre that originated from their ranks and one which they popularized. So, it was a bit surprising to see someone like Max Polyakov, who was not of African descent, doing so well in jazz. Because of this, when Max set foot in the United States of America to perform at the world event held in New York, the atmosphere was scintillating. He came in contact with a crowd of African American people who cheered him up all through the show and even adopted him as one of theirs. After that very performance, Max Polyakov started seeing jazz as something much more than music. For him, it is a movement, a community and something that is capable of uniting the entire world. He believes that when properly harnessed, jazz is capable of creating a more harmonious society where love and peace reign. So, a dream that started at the EOS bar and was ignited in his father’s living room is now taking the young man to the whole world at a very young age.
When Max Polyakov’s United States jazz tour took him to the state of New Orleans where the music originated, he paid tribute to the founders of the amazing music genre. He also received a lot of awards for his talent and efforts in promoting jazz music and keeping it alive. The tour later took him to other states in the United States and other jazz-friendly countries.
There are two major things that are very significant about Max Polyakov’s brand of jazz music. The first one is that it is very hugely influenced by the type of jazz that Louis Armstrong played. The sound of trumpet and saxophone he heard that faithful evening left a lasting impression on him, and he was not able to move away from it completely. The next is the fact that he also tried to make sure his roots were represented in his jazz. Because of this, every jazz music you credit to Max Polyakov throughout his career as a jazz musician will come with some blend of Romanian cultural music. He made sure his music appeals to home fans as well as foreigners. This, he did by bringing in the home effects to all his songs. In some cases, he incorporated some native instruments into the music in conjunction with his ever-present saxophone and trumpet sounds.
As at the time of this report, Max Polyakov has done more than 5000 live jazz performances and has more than 50 recorded jazz songs. He has been so hardworking and successful that it is very right to say that he is one of the biggest jazz musicians to have come out of Europe. He has also amassed huge fortunes from the music.
His father who is his biggest and undying fan says that his greatest achievement in life is pushing his son into jazz. Max Polyakov on his part agrees that his best decision in life was to obey his father when he introduced him to jazz. Currently, Max is the face of jazz in Eastern Europe, even though he is still in his middle age and is actually one of the youngest jazz musicians at the moment.