Thursday, August 16, 2007

Max Roach, 1924-2007

Charlie Parker, Ko-Ko.
Bud Powell, Tempus Fugue-It.
Miles Davis Nonet, Deception.
Lee Konitz, Ezz-Thetic.
'The Quintet', Salt Peanuts.
Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Delilah.
Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Max's Variations.
Sonny Rollins, Paradox.
Thelonious Monk, Bemsha Swing
Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Coleman Hawkins, Driva Man.

We interrupt the "7 Means of Movement" to pay tribute to the finest jazz drummer in the world: the best the music ever had, and likely will ever have.

This offering is a mere sample of Roach's work, indicating just how omnipresent he was, especially during the '40s and '50s, from his brutal, no-bullshit solo in "Ko Ko," to keeping pace with Bud Powell on "Tempus Fugue-It," to being the harbinger of Lee Konitz's next thought on "Ezz-Thetic," to serving in the legendary quintet of Bird, Gillespie, Powell and Mingus in Toronto in 1953, to his epochal work with Clifford Brown, to backing Monk on "Bemsha Swing" (for me, possibly his finest performance), and ending with "Driva Man," from 1960, which he recorded with then-wife Abbey Lincoln (see below) and Coleman Hawkins. ("Driva Man" was slated to be part of the upcoming 1960 series, and I'll write more about it then.)

I always resented the role of a drummer as nothing more than a subservient figure. The people who really got me off were dealing with the musical potential of the instrument.

Max Roach, 1988.

Good night, Max.

No comments: