Hailing from Leipzig, Germany, 1993 born drummer Max Stadtfeld announces his sophomore album “Suboptimal” with his group “STAX”, to be released March 25 2022 on Cologne based label KLAENG. After his self-titled + highly acclaimed 2019 debut on legendary label ACT he returns with another contemporary jazz masterpiece full of yet unheard ideas, stylistic quotes and productional refinement- with zeitgeist, expressive will and progressive approach.


In addition to Stadtfeld´s significant compositional handwriting, it is above all the four musicians in the band whose interplay makes the quartet so unique. Processed saxophone cascades, spacious guitar overdubs, alternation of double and electric bass sounds and sometimes violently compressed drum beats. Surrendering to the suboptimal, to the supposedly raw + imperfect, the record emerges something that is self-contained and perfect in its own way.



released March 25, 2022


Reza Askari - double bass, electric bass

Bertram Burkert - guitar

Matthew Halpin - saxophone, flute

Max Stadtfeld - drums


Alex Binder - recording, mixing

Markus Abendroth - mastering

Ebony Schneeweiß - artwork

All tracks are written by Max Stadtfeld, except for "Ich geb 8" by Bertram Burkert.


Original compositions by Max "Stax" Stadtfeld. Pronounced: Shtaks.

Reza Askari - Bass / Matthew Halpin - Tenorsax / Bertram Burkert - Guitar / Max Stadtfeld - Drums.


"Stax' music is not just some intellectual showing-off, it bobbles along in the rhythm-oriented mainstream, and yet, over and above that, it is imbued with an astonishing sense of both freshness and maturity. This quartet is playing the music of now - and at an amazing level of achievement. These musicians formulate shared narratives that go way beyond the mindless clicks and zappings of their generation."


Recorded by Christian Heck at Loft Cologne, December 4, 2017 & February 28, 2018. 

Mixed by Christian Heck at tonart-studio. Mastered by Klaus Scheuermann. Produced by Max Stadtfeld. Cover art by Jo Pauli: Nicht Sehen.


Philipp Rumsch Ensemble 

Leipzig based large ensemble. Compositions by Philipp Rumsch. Minimal / Pop / Ambient. Winner of the Leipzig Jazz Award 2018.

Olga Reznichenko Trio

Leipzig based trio, led by russian pianist Olga Reznichenko. Bass: Lorenz Heigenhuber.


Michael Wollny's Bau.Haus.Klang - Eine Harmonielehre

World premiere as part of the festive opening of Bauhaus 100 with an address by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Concept, Piano & Composition: Michael Wollny (D). Soprano saxophone: Emile Parisien (F). Phonola: Wolfgang Heisig (D). Electronics: Leafcutter John (UK). Drums: Max Stadtfeld (D).


Project by australian pianist Jordan White. Jordan founded the group Redbank in early 2019, aiming to explore concepts from the spectral music of Gerard Grisey and Kaija Saariaho in combination with ideas from traditional and modern music from Mali, Mozambique and Cuba in a semi-improvised context.  Trombone: Georg Demel. Bass: Lorenz Heigenhuber. Drums: Max Stadtfeld.


Compositions by Volker Heuken (Vibraphone) and Max Stadtfeld. Bass: Lorenz Heigenhuber. Modern Jazz, focus on improvisation. Winner of the Leipzig Jazz Award 2019.

Jan Roth's Heile Welt

Compositions by Jan Roth. Piano: Jan Roth. Trombone: Antonia Hausmann. Bass: Alex Binder. Drums: Max Stadtfeld.

Shepherd Moon

Compositions by Volker Heuken and Peter Fulda. Vibraphon: Volker Heuken. Piano: Peter Fulda. Bass: Lorenz Heigenhuber. Harp: Anton Mangold. Drums: Max Stadtfeld.