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Max Roach

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)

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Coleman: Catenary Oath

Read "Catenary Oath" reviewed by John Sharpe

Catenary Oath presents a 2018 solo recital by pianist and composer Anthony Coleman, recorded at Jordan Hall in the New England Conservatory in Boston where he also teaches. The album, available as a limited edition LP or digitally, contains a mix of originals and standards all given deeply personalized interpretations by the pianist. Coleman's profile has ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Bill Bruford: In the Court of the Percussion King

Read "Bill Bruford: In the Court of the Percussion King" reviewed by AAJ Staff

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in March 2001. A charmed life might be a good way of describing that of Bill Bruford. Always at the center of and driving vastly creative projects, including King Crimson, Yes, Earthworks, Genesis, Bruford, Gong and many other collaborations of like minds, ...

Take Five with Markus Rutz

Read "Take Five with Markus Rutz" reviewed by Markus Rutz

Meet Markus Rutz Markus Rutz plays trumpet with bluesy, soulful style and a tone that has been called gorgeous. He composes music from his home base in jny: Chicago, Illinois where he also performs modern jazz. As described by Downbeat's J.D. Considine, with his “big, dark tone and a fluid ease to his phrasing," trumpet player, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Give the Drummer (More Than) Some! Part 3

Read "Give the Drummer (More Than) Some! Part 3" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

More music featuring projects lead by drummers. Drums for civil rights, solos and duos, and poetry drumming. Happy listening! PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Terri Lyne Carrington “If Not Now (feat. Maimouna Youssef)" Waiting Game (Motema) 0:16 Host talks 5:42 Max Roach “Driva' Man" We ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Christopher Icasiano

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Christopher Icasiano" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of jny: Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and '30s. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Jazz in the Time of Pandemic

Read "Jazz in the Time of Pandemic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The first week of April 2020: images crystalized the daily news reports; a dystopian Times Square; Piazza Navona in Rome, emptied of tourists, Barcelona's Basílica de la Sagrada Família standing like an abstract ruin, makeshift morgues in hospital parking lots. The jazz world is small but still a microcosm of society with interdependencies that run deep. ...


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