Monday, August 20, 2007

Max Roach, R.I.P.

Max Roach, one of the great drummers in jazz history, passed away on August 16th at the age of 83. As my friend Joe Germuska wrote, "Roach was a giant of the music who kept innovating after most of his generation had passed on and the rest had largely settled into a pretty comfortable niche. Roach, on the other hand, always pressed forward, advancing radical political views as well as a very fresh approach to sound." Amen.

NPR did a really nice segment on Roach. You can listen to it here:
NPR appreciation of Max Roach

Here is a groovin' clip of Max Roach jammin' with Billy Harper, Cecil Bridgewater and Reggie Workman:

New York Times
Washington Post
L.A. Times

Other YouTube clips:
Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln
Roach drumming to MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech
Max Roach and Art Blakey dueling
M'boom project

Richard Harrington of the Washington Post suggests the following CDs:

• "Max Roach and Clifford Brown," Vols. 1 and 2, and "Daahoud" (all 1954). These three classic albums define the hard bop sound of the '50s, and give the promise of what would have been a seminal quintet had not Brown died in a car crash in 1956.

• "The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker" (1958). A pianoless quartet explores music by or associated with Roach's first great musical partner.

• "We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite" (1960). A fiery melding of politics, racial justice and social aspiration, with lyrics by the late Oscar Brown Jr.

• "Percussion Bitter Sweet" (1961). Another politically tinged outing with help from Eric Dolphy and Clifford Jordan, among others.

• "M'Boom" (1979). Rhythm was fundamental to the instruments used here, but used in way that reflected what Roach called "the traditional definition of music . . . an equal triangle of harmony, melody and rhythm."

No comments:

Post a Comment