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MUSICIAN Born:

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)

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: We Insist! - Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: We Insist! - Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite

This week, let's take a look back at an extended jazz composition of historical importance that, unfortunately, remains topical 60 years after its premiere. We Insist: Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite is the title of a 1960 album by drummer Max Roach, featuring a five-part work composed by Roach with singer and lyricist Oscar Brown Jr. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3

Read "Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As Martin Luther King put it in the opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, “Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Avery Sharpe: 400: An African American Musical Portrait

Read "400: An African American Musical Portrait" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Sono passati quattrocento anni dal primo agosto 1619, quando una nave olandese sbarcò una ventina di africani nell'insediamento inglese di Jamestown in Virginia. Erano stati sottratti a un bastimento spagnolo diretto in America latina ma visto che erano stati battezzati--e il codice inglese proibiva di ridurre in schiavitù dei cristiani--lavorarono come servitori a debito. Una sorta ...

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 ...


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