Maxi Jazz

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Maxi Jazz
Maxi Jazz in the Rock im Park 2015 festival
Maxi Jazz in the Rock im Park 2015 festival
Background information
Birth nameMaxwell Fraser
Born (1957-06-14) 14 June 1957 (age 63)
Brixton, London,[1] England
GenresElectronica, trip hop, trance
Occupation(s)Musician, rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ
Years active1983–present
LabelsCheeky, Columbia, Namu Records, Savage Records
Associated actsFaithless
1 Giant Leap
Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys

Maxwell Fraser (born 14 June 1957), better known by his stage name Maxi Jazz, is an English musician, rapper, singer-songwriter and DJ. He is best known as the lead vocalist of British band Faithless.

Music career[edit]

Hip hop beginnings[edit]

Jazz founded The Soul Food Cafe System as a DJ in 1984, having discovered hip hop a year earlier. He first aired the sound as a DJ calling it "In the Soul Kitchen with DJ Maxi Jazz" on pirate radio station Reach FM London in 1985/6. He transferred this sound to pirate radio station LWR in 1987.

In 1989, The Soul Food Cafe Band was picked up by Tam Tam Records, which is the dance wing of Savage Records. Jazz founded Namu Records in 1992 in order to release the band's material in the form of three EP's and the band toured as a support act to various artists, including Jamiroquai in Amsterdam; Soul II Soul in Barcelona; Galliano in Switzerland; and Jason Rebello in Brazil. In 1996, Maxi Jazz and the Soul Food Cafe recorded and released the album "Original Groovejuice vol.1" with Revco Records in Deptford, South London. After the band dissolved, Jazz worked throughout Europe, and took time out to collaborate with Jah Wobble on the Invaders of the Heart album, followed by live dates with the Wobble Collective.


Jazz met Rollo Armstrong in a studio and went on to form Faithless, together with Jamie Catto and Sister Bliss. As a Soka Gakkai Buddhist, his strong beliefs and the band's own strong individual beliefs, contrast with the name 'Faithless', which was chosen during the writing of the song "Salva Mea". Armstrong had asked Jazz to write a song about frustration, which was something to which Jazz could relate from his own experiences. The subject matter of Jazz's lyrics range from upbeat to melancholic. His work covers a range of personal and social issues, including current affairs and social commentary.

In 2006, Jazz provided the vocals for the hit Tiësto track "Dance4life". He also sang alongside Robbie Williams on the single "My Culture" from the collaborative album 1 Giant Leap.

Jazz celebrated his 50th birthday on 15 June 2007 in Hyde Park, London by headlining that year's O2 Wireless Festival. In the encore, he was greeted by thousands of fans wishing him happy birthday.

Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys[edit]

In 2015, he began fronting a newly assembled band of musicians named Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys. Jazz provides lead vocals and also plays guitar in the band. They have made a number of festival appearances, including some at the same events at which Faithless are billed.

Cars and racing[edit]

Jazz is very fond of cars and his collection was featured on Sky One's Vroom Vroom motoring show. He owns a Subaru Impreza P1, a Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000, a Ford Fiesta Zetec S, a Ford Sierra Cosworth and a Marcos LM500 R. He also owns a Nissan 350Z, which is referenced in the 2010 Faithless song "Flyin' Hi".

Jazz founded Maxi Jazz Racing in 2000 when he asked Rae Claydon to enter him in the Ford Fiesta Championship for the 2000 season,[2] but was only able to race occasionally due to his musical obligations.

On Sunday 9 December 2001, Jazz was involved in a serious car accident, causing several of Faithless's UK tour dates to be postponed. In 2005, he raced a Ginetta, and in 2006 and 2007 a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Personal life[edit]

He lives in West Norwood, in the London Borough of Lambeth. A Nichiren Buddhist and member of Soka Gakkai International, he has advocated the work of the Burma Campaign UK.

A lifelong supporter of Crystal Palace F.C., in September 2012 he became an associate director of the club.[3]

In 2011, a portrait of Jazz was painted by British artist Joe Simpson; the painting was exhibited around the UK, including a solo exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall.[4] The portrait was shortlisted for the 2011 BP Portrait Award and exhibited at The National Portrait Gallery.[5]


With Faithless[edit]

With 1 Giant Leap[edit]

With Soul Food Cafe[edit]

  • 1991 "Through the Mirror / Standin' in My Dust" (with Soul Food Cafe)
  • 1996 Original Groovejuice (with Soul Food Cafe)

With the E-Type Boys[edit]

  • 2016 Bitter Love / Mass Destruction EP (as Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys)
  • 2016 "Change Our Destiny" (as Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys)
  • 2016 Simple..Not Easy (as Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys)


  • 1989 "Rock to Dis" (with Jamaica Mean Time)
  • 1990 "Do Your Dance"
  • 1992 "Summertime" (with Jason Rebello)
  • 1992 The Maxi-Single (More of What You Need)
  • 1992 5 Track E.P.
  • 1996 "Brixton (Baby)"
  • 2006 "dance4life" (with Tiësto), No. 3 NL, No. 5 BEL, No. 10 FIN
  • 2011 "Where the Heart Is" (with Benji Boko)
  • 2012 "Tomorrow's Day" (with Trenton and Free Radical)
  • 2014 "In My Brain" (with The Hempolics)


  1. ^ "Hard to describe, great to listen to". 21 January 1999.
  2. ^ "Maxi Jazz Racing history".
  3. ^ "New Associate Director – Maxi Jazz". Crystal Palace F.C. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Musician Portraits – Joe Simpson's paintings of rock stars – NME". NME. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  5. ^ "National Portrait Gallery – Exhibitor". Retrieved 20 November 2017.

External links[edit]