A talented bop alto soloist, Joe Maini was a colorful character whose erratic personal life and senseless early death prevented him from fulfilling his potential. Early on Maini toured with the big bands of Alvino Rey and Johnny Bothwell, and he was briefly with Claude Thornhill in 1951. Moving to Los Angeles, Maini was a fixture in both the West Coast jazz movement and in the studios. He often worked with comedian Lenny Bruce and in big bands, including those led by Terry Gibbs (the Dream Band), Gerald Wilson, Bill Holman, Louis Bellson and Shelly Manne's Men.
Maini, who was in top form on a pair of jam session albums in 1954 with Clifford Brown and Max Roach, also recorded with Jack Sheldon, Red Mitchell, Kenny Drew and Jimmy Knepper, among others. Maini, who never led his own recording session, died at age 34 after losing at Russian roulette.
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide