Flying Not Falling


Max Highstein’s 13th and Finest Music Album

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Flying Not Falling is a bold statement about what New Age music can be today! (And it’s not what you’d expect!)

The overall tone is joyous, happy, and up-lifting. Eleven new instrumental songs engage the listener with Highstein’s signature combination of catchy melodies, well defined themes, and intricate arrangements. The result is a lively set that surprises and delights. And really, don’t you want, more than anything, to be delighted? Yes, you do!

Classical, jazz, and world music elements gracefully weave their way throughout the work. Virtuosic performances by Highstein on piano combine with contributions from masterful woodwind, string, and percussion players. The mix conveys a level of emotional depth and personality that draw in the listener through repeated plays. And that’s just the first song!

Flying Not Falling includes stellar performances by the following musicians:

Max Highstein – piano, fretless bass, synthesizers.

John Yoakum – soprano sax, flute. Credits include Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, The Simpsons, LA Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ed Willett – cello. Willett has performed with the Honolulu Symphony and Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and toured worldwide with pop/rock icon Rickie Lee Jones.

Willa Roberts – vocalization. Featured with her trio Black Sea Hotel on the Grammy Award winning Yo-Yo Ma/ The Silk Road Ensemble’s latest album, Sing Me Home.

Mark Clark – drums and percussion. Credits include James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, John Popper, and Ottmar Liebert. John Gustafson – oboe. The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Anthony Braxton, James Newton and Bob Moses.

Jesse Tatum – flute. Principal Flute of The Santa Fe Symphony and the Opera Southwest Orchestra.

John Gustafson – oboe. The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Anthony Braxton, James Newton and Bob Moses.

Charly Drobeck – flute. Member, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Santa Fe Womens’ Ensemble

With Special Appearance by Jay Rusty Crutcher, alto sax on Let’s Talk. Rusty Crutcher is a celebrated multi-instrumentalist and New Age music artist.

Additional mixing input by Chuck Wilson and Daniel Ward.

Listeners Say:

Max Highstein Music

“I am listening right now… and it is just stunning. Such thoughtful compositions, beautiful production, and the instrumentation is gorgeous. I am especially pulled in by the piano and the flute, but of course it is how the whole ensemble comes together that makes the piece so special.”  White Sun (Gurujas Khalsa). Best New Age Album Grammy Winner, 2017.

Just Stunning

Max Highstein Music

“I really enjoyed listening to Flying Not Falling this morning. Your music is fresh and up-lifting. I love the combination of instruments and sounds.”

Fresh & Uplifting

Max Highstein Music

“I have finally gotten a chance to sit down and really listen to “Flying Not Falling”. First of all, the packaging is lovely. The mix is awesome. Your compositions are all unique. You and your musicians are wonderful. I really love how uplifting all the music is, not cloying like so many New Age submissions. My favorites are “Earthtones”…should be part of a soundtack! Lake Shrine…which makes me want to go out into the woods and listen to it again. Also Helium…floats…as it should, I suppose. I’m listening to “Let’s Talk” right now, which I think would lend itself nicely to lyrics. Anyway, this is on the top of my New Age list.”

Top Of My List

Max Highstein Music

“This is absolutely delightful music! It is inventive. It is fun. It is interesting. It is beautifully played and produced. Max Highstein is a wonderful composer and musician and here he has brought all his talent forth.”

Wonderful Composer

Max Highstein Music

Flying Not Falling is still in the CD deck in my car, as it’s one of the really good ones. I know the album very well. You’ve produced a beautiful work… the production with such clarity that brings the featured musicians’ instruments is so near, you might as well be there. This album is truly lovely. Your choice in ebb & flow is satisfying, and before you realize, it’s over, & it’s playing again! A lot of talent going on there. I took the opportunity to listen to some of your previous work. You certainly get ‘New Age’ and see the development of the genre. It’s a pleasure to listen too.”

One of the Really Good Ones

Max Highstein Music

“I put it on and I danced. It made me feel the true innocence and joy of being alive. So excited to move to this music every morning now. What a way to start my day. Your gift is… stunningly beautiful. An opening of the heart.” Victoria L.

Stunningly Beautiful

Max Highstein Music

Amazing album! The musicians take the melody to a higher ground. A must for your music collection.

Amazing Album

Max Highstein Music

Exquisite!! A musical healing journey for the soul…and the production quality and musicianship are top notch!!! A true gem… you’ll be uplifted! Get this CD, you won’t be disappointed that’s for sure! Valerie Giglio


Max Highstein Music

Flying Not Falling is just delightful! I was immediately charmed by the positive energy and warmth this music exudes; it’s actually a CD which has found permanent residence in my car because listening to it does wonders to combat the stress of traffic! I think the music composition itself is wonderfully varied, layered, complex and offers new elements to discover with each successive listening! Moreover the musicians performing here are superlative and enhance the quality of the musical material through their pristine attention to detail! I say an enthusiastic “Bravo” to all who contributed their collective talents to this album! – Jesse B.

Just Delightful

Max Highstein Music

Overall, Flying, Not Falling is a brilliantly crafted masterpiece. The music is novel, spirited, and spectacularly rendered and most definitely varied and distinctive enough to hold your interest throughout the album. In fact, every time we listen to it, we notice something that we didn’t hear before—and we have no hesitation listening to this album again and again. But of course, as we have noted throughout this review, it is the outstanding work Max does weaving together into a single tapestry the various threads of creative expression, style, and sound that is the real standout quality of this album. For that reason, we give the album our highest possible recommendation! – Robert W. Martin

Brilliantly Crafted Masterpiece

Max Highstein Music

“Flying Not Falling” by Max Highstein is a magnificent New Age music album! The acoustic sound gives it wide appeal. Initially it is easy to label “Flying Not Falling” as pretty and uncomplicated. But listen closely and you will appreciate the life wisdom it represents. It is impossible to feel sad while listening to it. In a world of conflicts and negativity, that is a rare quality. B.T. Fasmer


Max Highstein Music

Flying Not Falling is musical magic! The arrangements are fresh and original, the production is superb, and the performances brim with wonderful surprises. This music lends us wings!” — Rob Whitesides Woo

Musical Magic