What did Max Roach do?

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,775
Reaction score
6,554
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Here he is playing.. J̶D̶A̶'̶s̶ .... drums and cymbals..



He stopped by one day (Never)
Here he's commenting on the bd pedal.
Said he felt self-conscious playing old Ks.
Also said he had an apartment full of them (Ks) from his association with Gretsch.
Used to give them out to the young up and coming drummers. Anthony something...
But had cut a "nice deal" (his words) with Avedis up in Massachusette$.

wow
"your hands shimmering on the legs of rain"
 
Last edited:

thenuge

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
872
Reaction score
134
Location
brooklyn
His importance is not only musical. You’ve got the music he made in all the bands he was a sideman in, and then his own. All that’s great enough. Then you have the solo unaccompanied drum thing. No one did this like him before him. And by that I mean treating the drums like an instrument that needs no other accompaniment. He launched a thousand solo drum clinics. So that’s credit and blame lol. No one mentioned the foot ostinato thing. That was him. Terry Bozzio send your checks to the Roach estate please.

But he demanded – no ‘We Insist’ - the drums and drummer get respect, and he was the first or most prominent to do that. If the drummer was black, then that was the point, but all drummers suffer the same disrespect. Just less so if you’re white. He stopped that, or at least made it respectable to be the ‘guy in charge’ if you were the drummer. After him, the drums and drummer deserved respect. And here we are. Has anything changed? Maybe by a bit, but we’re working on it. Obviously.
 

multijd

DFO Veteran
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
1,632
Reaction score
940
Location
Buffalo, NY
That's a tuff call there..



But he is smiling



Had more pictures taken in 1950's- than a Hollywood star.
jazz. somebody was professionally documenting it..
I wonder if that top one is from “Saxophone Colossus” session. Or maybe Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco”? That and St. Thomas are the only recordings I can recall where He plays a cowbell.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,775
Reaction score
6,554
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
He plays cowbell on the Canada Live with Bird and Mingus (name eludes me atm) Lp
iirc (and he plays (Repeats..) the poco loco beat (can't recall where but remember it somewhere thruout that Lp) in the middle of Hot House or ?, from that Lp I think a Cowbell is on there somewhere)

Here's the cowbell:

The Poco Loco beat he throws in--somewhere--on the album- have to listen entirely)


Go slow you'll find it...everything ..1953

(there s many alternate night? takes see wiki enough to make one Dizzy (pun intendo
I used to have where he repeated the Poco Loco beat pinpointed..but that was many years ago.. It's in there..
that's ....the only other time I heard him play it..
 
Last edited:

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
Ok thats the smile I was talking about! :) Some earlier people in the thread denounced my comments about Max not smiling. I didnt mean an animated theatrical smile like the Krupa or Papa Jo type smiling. I meant the I-like-what-you-did-there smile we give to a fellow bandmate. Or something like that. I am against any type of forced facial or body movements because the audience and I myself can definitely see through it. But a lil smile here and there, or an occasional eye contact with the audience, is more what I mean. I just hadnt seen anything like that on Max before.
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
Update on my progress in the syllabus:

I have listened to the albums Deeds Not Words, Money Jungle, and Herbie Nichols trio so far. I have listened/watched most of the youtube videos yall recommended. Seen more pictures. And done a little more general research on Max Roach. And I will keep on listening and research some more

My take aways:
I can definitely see why Max is one of the GOATs. If we divide the drum kit as what we play above, and what we play below, i think Max solos have an interesting relationship between what the hands and feet play. Its a like a conversation his hands and feet are having with each other. There is definitely structure to his playing. Everything sound deliberate. Not just how many notes can i fit in this solo. Lastly, i dont much prefer the sound of a Gretsch snare.. He still sounds good though! Because I get what he was trying to get accross with his playing. Its just sometimes it sounds a lil boxy to me. (Please dont chastise me Gretsch guys)
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
Also thank you to whoever suggested the Duke Ellington stuff. I had definitely heard of him, but never listened to him. When i first heard Solitude off of Money Jungle, i had to stop what i was doing and sit in my chair and just listen. Those first couple minutes of Solitude just hit me in all the right ways. Very beautiful playing.
 

bellbrass

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
7,155
Reaction score
1,157
Location
Bluegrass of Kentucky
Update on my progress in the syllabus:

I have listened to the albums Deeds Not Words, Money Jungle, and Herbie Nichols trio so far. I have listened/watched most of the youtube videos yall recommended. Seen more pictures. And done a little more general research on Max Roach. And I will keep on listening and research some more

My take aways:
I can definitely see why Max is one of the GOATs. If we divide the drum kit as what we play above, and what we play below, i think Max solos have an interesting relationship between what the hands and feet play. Its a like a conversation his hands and feet are having with each other. There is definitely structure to his playing. Everything sound deliberate. Not just how many notes can i fit in this solo. Lastly, i dont much prefer the sound of a Gretsch snare.. He still sounds good though! Because I get what he was trying to get accross with his playing. Its just sometimes it sounds a lil boxy to me. (Please dont chastise me Gretsch guys)
Sounds like you are really catching on...good ear (including the boxy Gretsch snare sound!) ha!
BTW - Gretsch snares did sound boxy back then. They sound fantastic now.
 

Jay_M

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
66
Reaction score
20
Location
New York City
Melody and creativity come to mind. He's one of my favs and was a master at melody. The stuff he played just stays in your head and despite the complexities of what he's playing it's actually..."catchy"...which seems like an oxymoron but that's what it says to me. (Big Sid and The Drum Also Waltzes are examples). He was also really creative at soloing over odd time ostinatos with the feet. "It's In Five" from Newport Jazz Festival 1967 concert is one of my favorite solos. There's video of him working with just a hi-hat that's pretty amazing and to get all those tones and ideas out of a set of hats...back to my first sentence. But it's really all about preference. There's highly regarded drummers I can see why they're giants but I never personally got into (mostly modern fusion, gospel chops and rock because those aren't my bag), but Max IMO is worth a few thorough listens.
 

Monday317

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
Western PA
Im young. Im dumb. I only know Max Roach from videos on youtube. From what I’ve seen, nothing he has played has moved me. But he is regarded as one of the greats. What should I be focusing on? Is it possible to just not be a Max Roach fan? Is enjoying Max’s playing an acquired taste? In your own words, what were his contributions to drumming?
I'm old. Still dumb. I only know Max Roach from listening to recordings on which he played, and why anyone thought he was great is beyond me. He constantly interrupts the flow of the music with quick solos jammed in at odd spots that added nothing to the piece. When he played a regular solo, they are childish, like a young child banging on drums at a GC.

He did have chops and in some pieces, his drumming was really inspired. But those were few and IMHO, the man was an overrated showboat, little more.
 

Tornado

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
2,282
Reaction score
2,034
Location
Dallas
Yes

Yes Poco,
You are indeed young & dumb to ask such an assinine question as this. To put in perspective everything The Great John Bonham done he basically stole from The Great Max Roach end of story.Poco maybe you should become a Bass Player!?!?
That's not very nice for your 3rd post on the forum.
 

Tornado

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
2,282
Reaction score
2,034
Location
Dallas
I'm old. Still dumb. I only know Max Roach from listening to recordings on which he played, and why anyone thought he was great is beyond me. He constantly interrupts the flow of the music with quick solos jammed in at odd spots that added nothing to the piece. When he played a regular solo, they are childish, like a young child banging on drums at a GC.

He did have chops and in some pieces, his drumming was really inspired. But those were few and IMHO, the man was an overrated showboat, little more.
Post your videos.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,775
Reaction score
6,554
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Can call him a showboat and "drums" in and of themselves were not his main mission. That's all ok to say.
What technically he did were his rides.....his traveling-along comping- rides...western Pa...
To this day no one near come within the speed he could ride---that's all four limbs---not his soloing)
He was a fast Rider...but he didn't even rub that in your face.
He was modest
His comping his ability to keep up- was superlative --->

 
Last edited:

itsjjp

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
20
Reaction score
8
Location
New Lenox, IL
2 albums really stand out in my modest collection, Percussion Bitter Sweet and a much later double CD called To The Max! which was done with his m'Boom lineup of the time. I echo what everyone else has shared. I saw him do a solo on just hi-hat at a local community college when I was in HS jazz band, in the mid to late 80s, and it changed my life on drums and music. Unrelated, Billy Martin's Life on Drums is an amazing DVD for any musician. What I said made me think of it
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
Yes

Yes Poco,
You are indeed young & dumb to ask such an assinine question as this. To put in perspective everything The Great John Bonham done he basically stole from The Great Max Roach end of story.Poco maybe you should become a Bass Player!?!?
I hope this was sarcasm.. :(

Dude im 29. This whole thread ive acknowledged that there is a lot i dont know. Thats why I asked the question. If you knew this much about Max Roach when you were in your 20s thats awesome. But I just wasnt shown or guided through any of this stuff. Im just trying to learn.
 

Musician X

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
6
Location
United States
Some of the most unique drumming ever recorded is on disc 2 of Charlie Parker's 'The Legendary Dial Sessions' which is the disc featuring Max Roach. In my opinion, no drumming has sounded quite like some of the vivid licks in those tracks, not even from Max Roach himself. But they were some of the first recordings of Parker and Roach. And so you can see why Roach was so influential. His style changed a lot after that, but you can hear where Art Blakey got a lot of his early influence from as well with some of those quirky licks.
I swear a drummer must have picked out the tracks for that CD album as it is only a small fraction of Parker's Dial sessions.

So you know what I'm talking about:
Disc: 2
1. Dexterity
2. Bongo Bop
3. Dewey Square
4. The Hymn
5. Bird Of Paradise
6. Embraceable You
7. Bird Feathers
8. Klact-Oveeseds-Tene
9. Scrapple From The Apple
10. My Old Flame
11. Out Of Nowhere
12. Don't Blame Me
13. Drifting On A Reed
14. Quasimado
15. Charlie's Wig
16. Bongo Beep
17. Crazeology
18. How Deep Is The Ocean
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
I'm old. Still dumb. I only know Max Roach from listening to recordings on which he played, and why anyone thought he was great is beyond me. He constantly interrupts the flow of the music with quick solos jammed in at odd spots that added nothing to the piece. When he played a regular solo, they are childish, like a young child banging on drums at a GC.

He did have chops and in some pieces, his drumming was really inspired. But those were few and IMHO, the man was an overrated showboat, little more.
I always accepted why he was esteemed and on the list if greats. For me personally, his persona and playing, I just didnt fully “get it”. But after doing research and listening to all the great recommendations, his playing was just different. Also, its difficult mentally transporting myself back to the 50s and 60s and trying to realize what drumming was and what it wasn’t at that time. Its work that I am willing to do.
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
55
Location
Texas
Some of the most unique drumming ever recorded is on disc 2 of Charlie Parker's 'The Legendary Dial Sessions' which is the disc featuring Max Roach. In my opinion, no drumming has sounded quite like some of the vivid licks in those tracks, not even from Max Roach himself. But they were some of the first recordings of Parker and Roach. And so you can see why Roach was so influential. His style changed a lot after that, but you can hear where Art Blakey got a lot of his early influence from as well with some of those quirky licks.
I swear a drummer must have picked out the tracks for that CD album as it is only a small fraction of Parker's Dial sessions.

So you know what I'm talking about:
Disc: 2
1. Dexterity
2. Bongo Bop
3. Dewey Square
4. The Hymn
5. Bird Of Paradise
6. Embraceable You
7. Bird Feathers
8. Klact-Oveeseds-Tene
9. Scrapple From The Apple
10. My Old Flame
11. Out Of Nowhere
12. Don't Blame Me
13. Drifting On A Reed
14. Quasimado
15. Charlie's Wig
16. Bongo Beep
17. Crazeology
18. How Deep Is The Ocean
Thanks for the recommendation. Added to the syllabus. :)
 


Top