Max Crumble Orchestra

Max Crumble

Ambient-Pseudo-Retro-Indie-Meta-Folk String-ish Music



The mission of the Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO) is to bring so-called elevator music to the masses. MCO is named in homage of Klaus “Max” Krumski, the legendary Hungarian bandleader generally regarded as the inventor of elevator music in 1928.

That year, while on tour in New York, the Krumski band was hired to play for a gala ball at Julius Pierpont’s new summer "cottage” in the Hamptons, especially to play inside the oversized elevator car that ferried guests between the cottage’s four levels.

While it is rare today to see a live band inside an elevator, the concept of using music to ease the discomfort of forced close proximity to our fellow beings has become so commonplace that we barely notice it today.


Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO) was formed in 2006 when two of its members (John and Rick) were separately hired to play Christmas music at the Pounding Hangover, a seedy Georgetown bar in South Seattle. The resulting collision and subsequent musical fallout overwhelmed the defenses of two other musicians (Andy and Tony) who had the misfortune to be in the same venue, sweeping them into the mix.

Since then, MCO has spent countless hours researching Krumski’s original arrangements, to bring you historically accurate performances of songs from the big-band, pop, flapper and folk-depression traditions. MCO is proud to be recognized as one of Washington State’s “greenest” bands, playing 100% recycled content.

Max Crumble

Tony Chiappa : Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Magic Spells
John Von Feldt : Bass, Guitars, Vocals
Rick Bidlack : Violas, Keyboards, Computers
Andy Laird : Violins, Keyboards, Computers

The Fifth Crumble

Truth : Sheila Coppola
Beauty : Robert Roth
Drums : Mark laFalce

gratus animus

Thanks to all those who have enabled our activities over the last many years -- friends, family, gig-hirers, listeners, artists, truckers, writers, printers, chemists, producers, welders, farmers, businessmen and tons more. It's been fun so far...

© Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO). All Rights Reserved.


Music for a Chaotic Planet2023

A compendium of Rick's compositions from 2019-23.

  1. Adept MachineBidlack
  2. Canary Fulcrum (in memoriam terra)Bidlack
  3. Down HomeBidlack
  4. Far FieldBidlack
  5. IcelandicBidlack
  6. JuiceBidlack
  7. Lost SignalBidlack
  8. Our LivesBidlack
  9. RabbleBidlack
  10. Slide on OverBidlack
  11. TranswarpBidlack
  12. UnrequitedBidlack
  13. Wattle WaddleBidlack


We are not humans experiencing the universe,
we're the universe experiencing humans.
– Alan Watts, On Existence
  1. You Andante ForestMCO
  2. I Don't CareMCO
  3. Record RainLaird
  4. LifestylesLaird
  5. Places Like ThisLaird
  6. Adept MachineBidlack
  7. Down HomeBidlack
  8. After the FireLaird
  9. Pajama PartyLaird
  10. Complicated RelationshipLaird
  11. Brown Paper BagVon Feldt
  12. Marzul VaneMCO
  13. No ComplaintsLaird
  14. UkraineLaird
  15. Here We GoLaird
  16. WoddleWoddle (or is that WattleWaddle?)Bidlack
  17. Safe LandingLaird
  18. Truck Driver's BluesRed Simpson

Extended Jams

  1. The BeastMCO
  2. Sunday JamMCO
  3. Semi-Bovoid StatorMCO
  4. Waiting for Big SurMCO
  5. Night SoundsMCO
  6. Dual Monster DuelMCO

Something's Wrong2020

Democratic Safe-Distanced Plague Therapy for Humans

  1. Song for the DeadVon Feldt
  2. SpidersLaird
  3. Lost SignalBidlack
  4. BenchChiappa/Laird
  5. SuperspreaderChiappa
  6. TranswarpBidlack
  7. Something's WrongLaird/Chiappa
  8. Steppin' RazorTosh
  9. JuiceBidlack
  10. Binding FencesVon Feldt
  11. IcelandicBidlack
  12. Before LunchChiappa/Laird
  13. Happy ThangLaird

Another Lovely Day2020

Show me how to dance,
Show me how to sing.
Shower us with love,
Shower us with tenderness...
– Audrey
  1. Same Old Lovely DayMCO
  2. Hurry Up and RelaxLaird
  3. AlwaysVon Feldt
  4. Decade's EndLaird
  5. Altar EgoBidlack
  6. Fast ReleaseLaird
  7. Quid Quo ProLaird
  8. Later SkaterChiappa
  9. COVID-19Laird
  10. Social DistanceLaird
  11. Elon MuskyLaird
  12. Nine Evil MenLaird
  13. No More RainVon Feldt

The Dream2019

if you want to understan’ an enemy, you gotta walk a mile in his shoes. Den, if he’s still you enemy, at least you’re a mile away and he’s got no shoes.
– Terry Pratchett, Once More With Footnotes (spoken by Plateau)
  1. GrassyLaird
  2. LazarusLaird
  3. Far FieldBidlack
  4. MaxistentialLaird
  5. Morning BakeLaird
  6. Space NebulaLaird
  7. Zen CocktailMCO
  8. Why Trouble Yourself?Laird/Chiappa
  9. What is RequiredLaird
  10. The DreamLaird
  11. Garden of Eden (extended)MCO

Down By One2018-2019

All the magic happens here, or at least the rabbits.

  1. UnrequitedBidlack
  2. Down By OneVon Feldt
  3. IntrospectionMCO
  4. #maxtooMCO
  5. Cat DreamsLaird
  6. Max Shalam (שלם)MCO
  7. MidtermsChiappa
  8. Light My FireThe Doors
  9. Ah BreezesChiappa
  10. I Fought the Walrus (and the Law Won)MCO
  11. Harvest MoonNeil Young
  12. Big BillChiappa
  13. Sunshine of our LivesBidlack


Before there could be a lure there had to be hunger. The hunger remained undiscovered even as it aged with bristling scorn and defiance. The lords of the castle thought it was only the rats and bats but after awhile the screeches could no longer be ignored. But that was all before the blackout...
  1. Piano TrialsLaird
  2. Still ThereLaird
  3. PanoramaLaird
  4. MangoLaird
  5. Release (Part 1)Laird
  6. Release (Part 2)Laird
  7. Release (Part 3)Laird
  8. HopeLaird
  9. WinterLaird
  10. Minor JamLaird/Chiappa
  11. Half BakedLaird
  12. Told You SoLaird
  13. Vanished SpringLaird
  14. Gravity BongLaird
  15. KavanaughLaird
  16. Requiem for MarthaLaird
  17. SapiensLaird

A Day... in a Life2018

Tony's first LP

  1. A Day...Chiappa
  2. Light YearLaird/Chiappa)
  3. BumpChiappa
  4. Anti-Gravity BongLaird/Chiappa)
  5. Your Seattle SupersonicsChiappa
  6. Dream SceneLaird/Chiappa)
  7. Light My FireThe Doors
  8. Lucky #13Chiappa
  9. NightfallChiappa
  10. Lean InChiappa
  11. GravediggerChiappa


A selection of various tunes composed by band members. Quite a variety of musical styles here.

  1. Dreams of EscapeBidlack
  2. Before Your EyesVon Feldt
  3. Slide on OverBidlack
  4. Sad CafeVon Feldt
  5. ClipBidlack
  6. Alone in the NightChiappa
  7. Crumble WarpMCO
  8. Dead CowboyVon Feldt
  9. Planet GunVon Feldt
  10. Mandola LullabyChiappa
  11. Song for AmiraBidlack
  12. The InaugurationMCO
  13. SneezeMCO
  14. SkibadoodleVon Feldt (prod Robert Roth)

Pool Party2012

Live recordings from a lovely summer pool party.

  1. Dear SomeoneWelch/Rawlings
  2. AmericaPaul Simon
  3. Blues For VenetiaAndersson/Hill
  4. Dust in the WindKerry Livgen (Kansas)
  5. Deadwood ThemeDavid Schwartz
  6. Sheebeg and SheemoreTurlough O'Carolan
  7. Flower DuetDelibes
  8. Begin the BeguineCole Porter
  9. Slow Hot WindHenry Mancini
  10. SaskiaMichael Gray
  11. Tell Me Now So I KnowRay Davies
  12. Scarborough FaireTrad. (arr. Paul Simon)
  13. Love & HappinessHarris/Rhodes
  14. The Look of LoveBurt Bacharach
  15. Blue BayouRoy Orbison
  16. Trains and Boats and PlanesBurt Bacharach
  17. From the BeginningGreg Lake
  18. BecauseLennon/McCartney

Red Barn Recordings2010

We recorded these tracks in Sheila's new print shop in 2010, taking advantage of the lovely acoustics the barn space had to offer -- thanks Sheila!

  1. All My TrialsTraditional
  2. Begin the BeguineCole Porter
  3. White RabbitGrace Slick
  4. Tell Me Now So I KnowRay Davies
  5. Within You Without YouGeorge Harrison

Loading Dock2012-2015

Miscellaneous tunes that we've recorded for some reason or another, more to come...

  1. Breaking the GirlRed Hot Chile Peppers
  2. LifeLudovico Einaudi
  3. Be Here NowRay LaMontagne
  4. Mood IndigoDuke Ellington
  5. Schooner WaltzJohn Kalpus

Max Live

Live recordings from a summer party gig for the Northwest Print People.

  1. AmericaPaul Simon
  2. Black PeterGarcia/Hunter
  3. Blue BayouRoy Orbison
  4. Dust in the WindKerry Livgren (Kansas)
  5. Flower DuetDelibes
  6. Friday On My MindYoung/Vanda (Easybeats)
  7. Scarborough FairTrad. (arr. Paul Simon)
  8. Tell Me Now So I KnowRay Davies

Music with Fred

Impromptu session recordings with our fabulous friend, Fred Bush, whose voice and musicality speaks of truth and beauty. We're honored and privileged to play whatever Fred wants. Yes, it's rough. Still awesome Fred, though.

  1. Compadres in the Old Sierra MadreRider in the Sky
  2. Pancho and LeftyTownes Van Zandt
  3. House of the Rising SunTraditional
  4. HallelujahLeonard Cohen

Wasted Prophets

Tony with singer/songwriter Mark Earl, early 90's in L.A.

  1. Living it DownMark Earl
  2. You're in TroubleMark Earl
  3. For NothingMark Earl
  4. Go ManMark Earl
  5. You Are Not RealMark Earl
  6. The Irish Don't ForgetMark Earl
  7. Meal TicketMark Earl
  8. Skid TownMark Earl
  9. One After 909Lennon/McCartney
  10. You're in Trouble / Living it Down (Live)Mark Earl
© Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO). All Rights Reserved.


Killer Whale Mar 2019

Max jam hunts fractal whales

Watch Killer Whale...

Killer Whale Mar 2019

Max jam hunts fractal whales

Watch Killer Whale...

Maxistential Mar 2019

Max reflects on the dark beauty of the universe

If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.
– Albert Camus, The Rebel

Watch Maxistential...

Space Nebula Mar 2019

Max ponders the universe

Watch Space Nebula...

Gag Order Mar 2019

Max cannot discuss the matter on the record

Watch Gag Order...

Escape Mar 2019

You must dance with Max

Watch Escape...

Beach Music Mar 2018

Location: Okracoke Island, North Carolina.

Watch Beach Music...

Rear View Mar 2018

Location: Interstate 80, Nebraska

Watch Rear View...

Max Dances May 2018

Footage from "A Dancer's World" (1957) featuring Martha Graham Dance Company. Lovely dancing while Max plays.

Watch the dancers...

Abstract Max in NY May 2018

Footage from "N.Y, N.Y." (1957) directed by Francis Thompson. Funky abstract NY from the late 1950's with Max playing.

Check it now...

Alien landscape June 2018

Footage from "N.Y, N.Y." (1957) directed by Francis Thompson. Strange alien NY from the late 1950's with Max's clone playing.

Take me to your leader...

Abstract funk in NYJune 2018

Footage from "N.Y, N.Y." (1957) directed by Francis Thompson. Funky abstract NY from the late 1950's with Max playing.

Funk out...

Wiper Oct 2015

A short film that pairs the rhythms of intaglio print-making with a Max Crumble jam.

Watch Wiper...

Tumbleweed Film Festival Jul 2014

Here's one of Johnny's tunes, Skibadoodle, that was used for a Tumbleweed Film Festival trailer in 2014. MCO layed down the basic parts, then Robert Roth (guitar guru and general producer extraordinaire), added all kinds of...


© Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO). All Rights Reserved.



We're based in the Greater Puget Sound area in Washington state. If you'd like more information about MCO or would like us to play for your event please contact us!

Seattle, WA

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