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Musician

Max Roach

Born:

Maxwell Lemuel Roach is a percussionist, drummer, and jazz composer. He has worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. He is widely considered to be one of the most important drummers in the history of jazz.

Roach was born in Newland, North Carolina, to Alphonse and Cressie Roach; his family moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was 4 years old. He grew up in a musical context, his mother being a gospel singer, and he started to play bugle in parade orchestras at a young age. At the age of 10, he was already playing drums in some gospel bands. He performed his first big-time gig in New York City at the age of sixteen, substituting for Sonny Greer in a performance with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In 1942, Roach started to go out in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street and at 78th Street & Broadway for Georgie Jay's Taproom (playing with schoolmate Cecil Payne)

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Article: Interview

Cheryl Richards: Another Spring, Another Song

Read "Cheryl Richards: Another Spring, Another Song" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


It can be hard to find new things to say in old songs, but after many years of singing the standards, some singers are still able to discover the secret of a song. Cheryl Richards is a shining example of a singer who has been able to prove the relevance of the standards for a modern ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Nate Smith: A Drummer's Life

Read "Nate Smith: A Drummer's Life" reviewed by Mark Robbins


Nate Smith can't sit down! After headlining with two of his bands at the 2022 Newport Jazz Festival, The Fearless Flyers and Nate Smith + Kinfolk he is off to New York for a one week run at the Blue Note followed by jny: Los Angeles, Europe and then back to the United States where he ...

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Article: Live Review

Fano Jazz by the Sea 2022

Read "Fano Jazz by the Sea 2022" reviewed by Libero Farnè


Fano Varie sedi 22—31.7.2022 Fano Jazz by the Sea, giunto al traguardo della trentesima edizione, ha confermato un impianto organizzativo ormai collaudato, messo a punto negli anni dal suo storico direttore artistico Adriano Pedini. Concentrato nel centro storico della cittadina marchigiana, il festival ha ruotato soprattutto attorno al nucleo formato dal main ...

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Article: Interview

Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker

Read "Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker" reviewed by Scott Gudell


The dynamic big bands of the 1920s-1940s were led by charismatic and confident kings of swing including Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb and Gene Krupa. Smooth and sophisticated dance sounds could easily cross pollinate with other styles including the syncopated rhythms bubbling up from the streets of Harlem such as 'Swing Street.' Beyond a lineup ...

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Article: Rhythm In Every Guise

Evan Sherman: Not Just A Throwback

Read "Evan Sherman: Not Just A Throwback" reviewed by David A. Orthmann


It is too easy to simply consign Evan Sherman to the throng of young drummers in the thrall of bebop masters such as Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Philly Joe Jones. Throughout Sidewalkin', Sherman's self-produced recording from 2021, and a recent live performance at the Madison Community Arts Center in Madison, NJ, these influences are perceptible, ...

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Article: Album Review

WeFreeStrings: Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage

Read "Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage" reviewed by Mark Corroto


History does repeat itself, violist Melanie Dyer draws from the same well of inspiration as Max Roach's We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (Candid, 1961). Maybe better put, history reveals Martin Luther King's arc of the moral universe has only bent a few degrees in the past sixty years. With Love In The Form Of Sacred ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Tobin Mueller

Read "Take Five with Tobin Mueller" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Tobin Mueller Connecticut-based composer, arranger, playwright and pianist Tobin Mueller has just released his 35th album: Prestidigitation, drawing on a long career of innovation and artistry. Mueller's compositions range from Jazz Fusion to Progressive Rock, Broadway musicals to Old-School Funk, Classical ballet to video games. His jazz ensemble recordings have featured legendary bassist Ron Carter, ...

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Article: Album Review

Tumi Mogorosi: Group Theory: Black Music

Read "Group Theory: Black Music" reviewed by Chris May


In summer 2022, the portents suggest that South Africa, while not exactly the new London, is shaping up nicely to become another geo-cultural crucible for the reforging of jazz. Prominent among the signs is the formation of Blue Note's imprint Blue Note Africa, which launched in mid June with pianist Nduduzo Makhathini's highly recommended In The ...

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Article: Profile

Hazel Scott: Swing and Silence

Read "Hazel Scott: Swing and Silence" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


Ahmad Jamal is often credited with creating a new spacious sound in jazz. He had a tingling sense of touch on the piano that let each note ring profoundly and famously inspired Miles Davis to explore the effects of silence and space. It was a sound equally admired and belittled as cocktail jazz because of its ...


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