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***** Max Roach Corner *****

114 posts in this topic

People are still writing books about Beethoven, and he's been dead a lot longer than Max!  

And Beethoven was every bit as complicated as Roach.  Lots to love and admire in both men ... and lots not so much.

Max's story deserves to be told!

 

 

 

12 minutes ago, Milestones said:

Max is a freakin' genius and there should be a major biography.  Are we sure there isn't one?

I regard the sessions of the combo of Sonny Rollins and Max Roach to be among the greatest in jazz history.

Yes !

And plenty more besides !

 

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A biography of Max Roach would be like writing a history of jazz from the 1940's to 2000 - a major research endeavour. 

On 17.10.2013 at 9:48 AM, Gheorghe said:

One thing I would like to tell you or ask you about Max Roach:

 

I´ve been listening to his art since I was a kid (first on records, later live of course), and what I´ve observed is his very very straight manner or workout of his ideas, both in ensemble and while soloing. With Max, I aways felt a very strict and precise manner of playing, sometimes almost metronomic (not in a negative sense of it !).

 

His drumwork almost gave and gives me an impression that I´d compare to very organized ensemble-ballett dancing, like a line of chorus girls, sheer perfection.

 

Other drummers that were active during the same time and maybe played with the same or similar artists, like Klook, Philly J.J., Roy Haynes, Elvin, .....how should I say it....it "flows" more, it doesn´t sound so "organized".....

 

Sometimes it´s almost that I could think about Max´drummin (at least on straight ahead 4/4 time) like a further developement or next step compared to something that someone like Buddy Rich may have started.

 

It would be very very interesting for me to get your impressions about it, how you "hear" what Max plays. But I must admit I´m not a drummer, but very aware of what the drummer plays.

Max came out of Baby Dodds, Jo Jones, and Cozy Cole, Klook, Blakey and others forged different personal styles from similar influences. The three drummers I mentioned as his influences all are favoring well constructed playing. Clearly recognizable structure, even when accompanying, but not repetitive. Like someone said "He does the piano player's comping on the drums". That's a musical logic leading to his pianoless groups.

Edited by mikeweil

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Maxine Roach's participation would be critical. I believe she has Max's archives/collections/whatever?

Odean Pope and Billy Harper are both alive and cogent.

And of course, sonny.

But there's a lot here to be told, "extra-musical" things about race, politics, business, domestic life, and I don't know who all is willing to be 100% open about that at this time. And without that, you don't really have a biography...and if you wait too much longer, you'll be getting hearsay/2nd hand information, which may or may not be good.

Max was HOT, both as a person (from what I understand) and as a musician (which is more than obvious). Maybe some distance is needed to get to all of that heat. But hardened lava is only the end of the true lava experience.

No matter, Max Roach should not be lost to the shadows of history, about that I cannot feel more strongly about!

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Thank you all for your very interesting comments, yeah Max Roach was very important in my developement of a busy jazz listener and observer. I´ll never forget the first time I saw him in 1978 with Cecil Bridgewater, Billy Harper and Reggie Workman at a quite ugly venue, the no more existent "Kongresshaus" in 1050 Viena...., remember a very hot version of "Round Midnight"...... and a lot of more....., Art Farmer was in the house. The day before, Art Farmer performed and Max came in, and was announced......wonderful memories, and Max announced that Art was in the house, when it was Max´ concert the next day.....

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13 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Thank you all for your very interesting comments, yeah Max Roach was very important in my developement of a busy jazz listener and observer. I´ll never forget the first time I saw him in 1978 with Cecil Bridgewater, Billy Harper and Reggie Workman at a quite ugly venue, the no more existent "Kongresshaus" in 1050 Viena...., remember a very hot version of "Round Midnight"...... and a lot of more....., Art Farmer was in the house. The day before, Art Farmer performed and Max came in, and was announced......wonderful memories, and Max announced that Art was in the house, when it was Max´ concert the next day.....

That was the first group I saw Max with. Mind blowing seeing him and being introduced to Billy Harper at the same time.

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I saw him too dawg- playboy jazz fest  01 and i recently read the LA times piece it it apparently was an extra big deal they were trying to get him for years

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Though I saw Max Roach on several great concerts and have a lot of his Albums , I don´t really know others Things About his Life than his musicianship, that´s all but that´s the most important.

But it´s a shame if we think About "Massey Hall" and About all the else Artists involved there are tons of books, books About Bird, About Diz, Bud, Mingus, so someone really should start a solid biography About one of the most important figures of post war jazz......

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Is there not a book of interviews with Max?  There's a Miles on Miles and Coltrane on Coltrane and so on.  He was an articulate man, and there must be tons of interviews and contributions to liner notes. 

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49 minutes ago, Milestones said:

Is there not a book of interviews with Max?  There's a Miles on Miles and Coltrane on Coltrane and so on.  He was an articulate man, and there must be tons of interviews and contributions to liner notes. 

There is a Roach interview in Art Taylor's Notes and Tones, IIRC.

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1 hour ago, Justin V said:

There is a Roach interview in Art Taylor's Notes and Tones, IIRC.

Yes, in Art Taylor´s Notes and Tones, and a very interesting interview is from 1978 or so with Gudrun Endress for the german magazine  Jazz Podium, there was also a book "Jazz Podium" by Gudrun Endress with a lot of interviews.....

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There was a feature issue on Max Roach from the Swiss magazine "Du", in German language:

thumb_409_MagazinCover_contentDetail.jpe

http://www.du-magazin.com/kiosk/detail/667

6 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

..... and a very interesting interview is from 1978 or so with Gudrun Endress for the german magazine  Jazz Podium, there was also a book "Jazz Podium" by Gudrun Endress with a lot of interviews.....

That 1978 interview is the one reprinted in the Jazz Podium book.

30502931773.jpg

Edited by mikeweil

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Max’s bio is a project I’ve been mulling seriously. I’ve made some necessary inquiries, but nothing  to report yet. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Max’s bio is a project I’ve been mulling seriously. I’ve made some necessary inquiries, but nothing  to report yet. 

 

Do it, Mark!!!   You'd do a GREAT job!!!

If you need to crowdfund it, I'll be the first person to sign up!

 

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