In the winter of 2014, German rapper/producer Max Herre and Italian-German pianist Roberto Di Gioia played a tremendous show together. The two had been guest musicians at a few gigs for Gregory Porter, who in turn kindly accepted their invitation to perform at Herre’s MTV Unpluggedsession (produced by Herre alongside Di Gioia and Samon Kawamura as production team KAHEDI). Porter’s approach to the jazz quartet inspired Max to reflect how a rap artist could work in a more freely-flowingmusical environment. Di Gioia’s inspiration was a bit more straightforward: in the 80s, Di Gioia had played with jazz legends like Woody Shaw, Johnny Griffin, and James Moody, but he’d largely left the jazz stages of his early years behind — just one random jam session with Porter’s musicians during soundcheck relit his passion immensely. A short time later, Herre called Di Gioia saying “Let’s get a spiritual jazz session going.” Now, six years later, the album WEB MAX is the amazing result from the spur of that moment. It is a wonderful homage to the cosmic open-mindedness of early 70s jazz, to the transcendent sublimity of spiritual sound.