Maximum Wage

Jazz-Rock fusion group, late 80s, early 90s
  • Categories: Bands, Collaborators
  • Late 80s, early 90s

Maximum Wage, late 80s - early 90s

Maximum Wage was a band in the San Francisco Bay Area consisting of musicians primarily from the East Bay. The main players were me on sax, Craig Graham on guitar, Tabo Kobayashi on bass, and Kevin Mummey on drums. There were also a number of players who came through the band at various times including Friday Jumbo on percussion, Joey Edelman on keyboards, Kurt Schleunes on vibes, Kallen (I forget his last name) on keyboards, etc. We did Bay Area gigs and made a pretty good recording in a studio in Oakland, but that was only ever released on cassette.

Some of those tunes, mainly Tabo's, I have now digitized and put up on Soundcloud (see below), but we also did a few of Craig's tunes and a few of my rock tunes from my band days in L.A., one of which appears on this site (a 3/4 reggae tune I wrote called "Go For Love"). Tabo's music is very interesting and I think he is a very fine composer. Last I heard he was living back in Japan. I've lost touch with Kevin but I think he went for a history degree at a university in Minnesota. Kevin also played on other recordings of mine (such as "House Music") and played with Klezmania for a few years. Craig moved to New York years ago and still plays and teaches there. I've hung out with him a couple times in that great city. Tabo came up with the clever band name of "Maximum Wage" which has socialist or capitalist implications depending on how you look at it, but I think Tabo was definitely of the socialist view ("Maximum Wage... for Minimum Greed" as he used to say). The idea being that there should be a limit to how much money one person can possibly make. Not a bad idea, in this age of inequality.