Maxi Jazz | Faithless Lead Singer Dies Aged 65

Faithless announced his death on Instagram Saturday, saying “We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died peacefully at his home in South London last night." No details were given for the cause of his death.

by GRIOT - Published on 25/12/2022
Maxi Jazz. Photo by Dee Hope via Pitchfork

A DJ and singer, Maxi Jazz, whose real name was Maxwell Fraser (14 June 1957 – 23 December 2022) formed U.K. dance band Faithless with Jamie Catto, Rollo, and Sister Bliss in 1995. They were pioneers of stadium dance music and achieved acclaim for iconic songs like the 90s dance hits Insomnia and God is a DJ. The band produced seven studio albums as well as several compilation albums during their decades-spanning collaboration, with their most recent release being 2020’s All Blessed. They also performed at Britain’s Glastonbury and were nominated for the Brit Award for best British dance act in 1999 and 2002. Jazz was the lead vocalist of the band from 1995 to 2011 and 2015 to 2016.

Born in Brixton and with Jamaican roots, he also fronted a band of musicians named Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys and released music with the group Soul Food Cafe. He also had a successful solo career and collaborated with music stars including Robbie Williams on 1 Giant Leap’s track My Culture.

The guitar band marked a new sound for Jazz, who began writing the material in 2013, during Faithless’s hiatus. On their website, the band described their sound as incorporating “melodic funk and blues mixed with reggae beats, dub baselines [and] Jamaican melodies”.

A statement shared on Jazz’s Instagram and signed by his former bandmates said: “He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and message to our music. He was also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible. It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him. He was a brilliant lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius.”

Jazz was very fond of cars and was a huge fan of Crystal Palace FC, becoming an associate director of the football club in 2012.

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