After many months of preparation, the Max Johnk Quartet is releasing its latest jazz album “Allweather” on Wednesday, January 16 at The Aquarium in downtown Fargo!
The album, which was partially funded by a Jade Presents Arts Partnership grant, features six original jazz compositions written by local bassist Max Johnk.
Johnk has played electric and upright bass in a variety of music genres over the years, but jazz is the primary genre shaping his artistic path. Although he led a septet in the past, Johnk recently formed a quartet with tenor saxophonist Chris Schuster, trombonist Steve Wallevand and drummer Joel Beseler-Thompson to challenge himself as an artist and “get back to basics” as a composer.
Unlike most jazz groups, the Max Johnk Quartet does not utilize a chord instrument (like a piano or guitar), which provides a refreshing spin on modern jazz for every listener.
“There’s a very human thing about jazz that other music doesn’t have,” Johnk said in a profile we wrote about him back in September. “With jazz, the sound is the expression. With more manufactured music (like pop), you’re being telegraphed what to feel. Jazz doesn’t tell you what to feel. You’re either going to feel it or you’re just not listening to it.”
At the album release on January 16, the Max Johnk Quartet will share the stage with the Conor Lee Quartet, who will play selections from its new album called “Adapt.” Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for patrons 21 and older. The Aquarium is located above Dempsey’s Pub at 226 Broadway North in downtown Fargo.
To hear a preview of Johnk and Lee’s albums before the official release, tune into KRFF 95.9 from 7 -8 p.m. on Thursday, January 10.
To learn more about the Max Johnk Quartet, read the full profile we wrote on the group in the Fargo Forum or visit www.maxjohnkmusic.com.
All photos are by Samuel Thomas Claeys.