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date: 13 November 2019

Greger, Maxfree

  • Heidi Boulton

(b Munich, April 2, 1926; d Munich, Aug 12, 2015). German tenor saxophonist and bandleader. He studied classical piano and clarinet at the conservatory in Munich. From 1945 he worked in dance bands at American clubs, and he played accordion, then clarinet and tenor saxophone, with the trumpeter Charly Tabor. In 1948 he formed a sextet, which later became an octet and then, in 1955, a band with 13 members that played in the style of Glenn Miller; this group accompanied such singers as Ella Fitzgerald. Greger toured Germany with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra and the USSR with his own band (1959). From 1963 into the 1980s he led an orchestra of 16 players that performed on television in Germany; among its longtime sidemen were Don Menza and Benny Bailey. Greger made more than 150 recordings, including European Jazz Sounds (1963, Bruns. 87918) and Maximum (1965, Pol. 623203), though much of his work was centred on pop styles rather than jazz. He often performed with the Süddeutscher Rundfunk Stuttgart (SDR) Big Band and worked in television studio ensembles.


  • C. O. Hess: “Max Greger und sein Keller-Orchester,” JP, 3/1 (1954), 10
  • “Max Greger,” JP, 3/9 (1954), 6
  • “Max Greger kommt,” JP, 5/1 (1956), 18
  • “Max Greger: heisse Musik für Russland,” JP, 8/8 (1959), 180
  • W. Dohl: “Max Greger Bigband: Maximum,” JP, 34/8 (1985), 46
C. Bohländer and K. H. Holler: Reclams Jazzführer (Stuttgart, Germany, 1970, rev. and enlarged 2/1977)