What did Max Roach do?

cruddola

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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?
 

Houndog

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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.
Your opinion on anything drumming just lost all credibility . Actually on life itself ...
 

cruddola

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You're not dumb by any means. Your researching Roach is proof of it. In my opinion Max is king when it comes to the Hi-hat. There's a ton of drummers that don't move me too, that includes Richard Starkey. But that doesn't mean I don't invest time to learn from them either, that includes Ringo. I agree, when I was young there were genres of music and musicians that didn't call me. Rock and Country weren't in my book then. That changed when the Big Band I played with opened for the acts that came to our town's venue. From Vince Furnier and the Spiders (Alice Cooper) to the Fabulous Flames (James Brown) and everyone in between in the mid 60s to early 70s. I believe a musician is a collection of ingredients. Those ingredients are those that have come before, during and after him/her. I've taken from everyone I've ever listened to. From Joe Morello to Travis Barker. From Sully Erna to Sonny Payne. I'm a handful of years shy of 70, grew up on Jazz. I like Carl Palmer, Alex Van Halen, Dave Grohl, Charlie Adams and Neil Peart as much as the next guy too! Every drummer I've listened to or seen is a different color on the canvas of my drumming life! Beat on, dude!
 

poco rit.

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You're not dumb by any means. Your researching Roach is proof of it. In my opinion Max is king when it comes to the Hi-hat. There's a ton of drummers that don't move me too, that includes Richard Starkey. But that doesn't mean I don't invest time to learn from them either, that includes Ringo. I agree, when I was young there were genres of music and musicians that didn't call me. Rock and Country weren't in my book then. That changed when the Big Band I played with opened for the acts that came to our town's venue. From Vince Furnier and the Spiders (Alice Cooper) to the Fabulous Flames (James Brown) and everyone in between in the mid 60s to early 70s. I believe a musician is a collection of ingredients. Those ingredients are those that have come before, during and after him/her. I've taken from everyone I've ever listened to. From Joe Morello to Travis Barker. From Sully Erna to Sonny Payne. I'm a handful of years shy of 70, grew up on Jazz. I like Carl Palmer, Alex Van Halen, Dave Grohl, Charlie Adams and Neil Peart as much as the next guy too! Every drummer I've listened to or seen is a different color on the canvas of my drumming life! Beat on, dude!
Thank you for this genuine comment. Ya i just self deprecatingly said “Im dumb” to show right upfront that I know my opinions and conceptions of Max Roach werent based on any real research. I was admitting that I know that looking at a few Youtube videos werent a real way to gain an informed impression about someone. You named some drummers im gonna have to look up. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
 

poco rit.

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Sounds like a duel at fifty paces. settle
I knew i was gonna be an easy target for the more unforgiving Jazz snobs out there.. JDA you have contributed a lot of valuable knowledge to this conversation. Im am very grateful you are here. :)
 
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Musician X

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I would say that much like Miles Davis, Max Roach has a very wide variety of stylistic phases in his career. There's something for everybody. Obviously there's the bop stuff. He dipped his toe in the avant-garde with Archie Shepp and Anthony Braxton. He did some subtly Afro-Cuban influenced jazz as a bandleader. He got a little bit into hip hop in the 80's.

And kind of like Art Blakey, he was almost as influential as a bandleader as he was a drummer.

Here's some of my favorites-
hi-hat solo:

These are not a show of drumming skills so much as some real soulful stuff as bandleader:


 

toddbishop

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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?
IDK, Max Roach just = drumming greatness. Some things you just have to figure out. A couple of suggestions:


-- If what excites you is youtube drummer porn, you're going to have a hard time dealing with real world music, which is mostly not created to show off how amazing the drummer is.

-- To form a legit opinion, you do have to listen to enough jazz to realize that saying you "don't care for jazz" is a ridiculous statement. It suggests you haven't listened to enough music, and you haven't listened closely enough to what you have heard. Jazz is not a genre. It includes a tremendous variety of music recorded over 100 years.

-- Greatness in music is not always obvious just in a single recording or performance. You have to know something about the music, how it's made, and know Roach's place in the history of it. What happened before him, who he influenced, what the top musicians of his era thought of him. Be familiar with some non-insignificant fraction of the hundreds of records he played on. It does help to have some experience playing the music, as well-- if someone ever calls you to play a jazz gig, you'll realize what a challenge it is, even to play it in a way someone like you would find unexciting.

I like Max Roach & his playing. However, can anyone name 5 "pioneering things" he did? Please be specific if you can.
Can you name a drummer who played like Max Roach before there was a Max Roach? How many drummers after him can you name who obviously have a massive creative debt to him? Cap that at 100 names.

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.
You were onto something in the beginning there, then you veered off.
 

downthestairs

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Well, do you like Jazz in general? He came up with a lot of vocabulary that is still used today in all kinds of styles and meters. And he did that at blazingly fast tempos with great precision and sound. Also he played long, musical solos while other drummers of the time often only played longer fills or flashy things. He did a lot of pioneering things and at an extremely high level. People back then must have been mesmerized by his playing and he's still studied by drummers today.
Have a look at his discography and pick and artist/album that you like. If you don't enjoy it, so be it. You can still give him another chance in a year. :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Roach
One of his best known albums is this:
 

downthestairs

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Well, do you like Jazz in general? He came up with a lot of vocabulary that is still used today in all kinds of styles and meters. And he did that at blazingly fast tempos with great precision and sound. Also he played long, musical solos while other drummers of the time often only played longer fills or flashy things. He did a lot of pioneering things and at an extremely high level. People back then must have been mesmerized by his playing and he's still studied by drummers today.
Have a look at his discography and pick and artist/album that you like. If you don't enjoy it, so be it. You can still give him another chance in a year. :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Roach
One of his best known albums is this:
What a great record to choose!!!
 

richiegarcia4

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I would say, come back to him when you're into jazz. I didn't get into jazz until college, then became obsessed years later. Sonny Rollins' lp Saxophone Colossus has a great, clear production and it's maybe the best drumming (jazz or otherwise) I've ever heard recorded.
 

poco rit.

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IDK, Max Roach just = drumming greatness. Some things you just have to figure out. A couple of suggestions:


-- If what excites you is youtube drummer porn, you're going to have a hard time dealing with real world music, which is mostly not created to show off how amazing the drummer is.

-- To form a legit opinion, you do have to listen to enough jazz to realize that saying you "don't care for jazz" is a ridiculous statement. It suggests you haven't listened to enough music, and you haven't listened closely enough to what you have heard. Jazz is not a genre. It includes a tremendous variety of music recorded over 100 years.

-- Greatness in music is not always obvious just in a single recording or performance. You have to know something about the music, how it's made, and know Roach's place in the history of it. What happened before him, who he influenced, what the top musicians of his era thought of him. Be familiar with some non-insignificant fraction of the hundreds of records he played on. It does help to have some experience playing the music, as well-- if someone ever calls you to play a jazz gig, you'll realize what a challenge it is, even to play it in a way someone like you would find unexciting.



Can you name a drummer who played like Max Roach before there was a Max Roach? How many drummers after him can you name who obviously have a massive creative debt to him? Cap that at 100 names.



You were onto something in the beginning there, then you veered off.
Thank you for the wise words of encouragement. Also, idk if you read earlier posts in the thread, but early on i mentioned that i didnt start this thread to troll. Please know that I was genuinely eager to know more about Max, because I knew I had to be missing something. Keep in mind, a lot of yall have 20+ years on me, so its easy to say to me, “How can you not realize his greatness,” when Im just starting out my journey with him and jazz. You had a lot more time to seek out and meditate on recordings of him. Also, earlier I talked about how I grew up playing violin. So i wasnt in drum line or jazz band how a lot of drummers start. I didnt have knowledgable people like yourself around me to guide me through jazz history. I started this thread to get some insight from all the veteran drummers on where to start with Max. Everyone has been very kind and understanding. Its been eye opening and rewarding.
 

toddbishop

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Thank you for the wise words of encouragement. Also, idk if you read earlier posts in the thread, but early on i mentioned that i didnt start this thread to troll. Please know that I was genuinely eager to know more about Max, because I knew I had to be missing something. Keep in mind, a lot of yall have 20+ years on me, so its easy to say to me, “How can you not realize his greatness,” when Im just starting out my journey with him and jazz. You had a lot more time to seek out and meditate on recordings of him. Also, earlier I talked about how I grew up playing violin. So i wasnt in drum line or jazz band how a lot of drummers start. I didnt have knowledgable people like yourself around me to guide me through jazz history. I started this thread to get some insight from all the veteran drummers on where to start with Max. Everyone has been very kind and understanding. Its been eye opening and rewarding.
It's fine, I wasn't trying to be rude-- that stuff is just reality. Nobody actually cares where you end up on this topic; it's not our job to sell you on Max Roach's greatness. But just for your own education, a lot of it involves setting aside your own taste and opinions, and trying to figure out things you don't get-- like why is Max Roach great-- I'm not hearing it-- what's going on here? If you're just waiting around to be blown away, or have people convince you to like something, you'll never get anywhere. Or rather, you'll always be stuck back in your teens as the eh I don't really like jazz guy.

But this is all much more than anyone told me about Max Roach or anyone else. I was just interested and figured it out by listening.

I knew i was gonna be an easy target for the more unforgiving Jazz snobs out there..
Probably better not to assume motives or use words like snob when asking people to tell you about something they care about. It introduces an element of I want you to tell me something, but I don't really respect that you value it. It's unnecessarily personal.
 

bbunks

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This thread has been active for a weeks now and as a participant, I get to say "thank you."

You were pretty vulnerable and honest - much appreciated.

Allowed me to write about and remember a musician who I got to meet, hear/see perform and who means a lot to me.

Also allowed me to remember how my own knowledge, taste and appreciation changed over time.

You asked great questions. Keep your ears open and you'll be happy.
 

Morello Man

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I like Max Roach & his playing. However, can anyone name 5 "pioneering things" he did? Please be specific if you can.
I don’t think Roach pioneered anything. Not knocking him; he was an excellent drummer, excellent. I dug his playing as well as the groups he was in/led.
 

poco rit.

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It's fine, I wasn't trying to be rude-- that stuff is just reality. Nobody actually cares where you end up on this topic; it's not our job to sell you on Max Roach's greatness. But just for your own education, a lot of it involves setting aside your own taste and opinions, and trying to figure out things you don't get-- like why is Max Roach great-- I'm not hearing it-- what's going on here? If you're just waiting around to be blown away, or have people convince you to like something, you'll never get anywhere. Or rather, you'll always be stuck back in your teens as the eh I don't really like jazz guy.

But this is all much more than anyone told me about Max Roach or anyone else. I was just interested and figured it out by listening.



Probably better not to assume motives or use words like snob when asking people to tell you about something they care about. It introduces an element of I want you to tell me something, but I don't really respect that you value it. It's unnecessarily personal.
The jazz snob comment was referencing this one guy who told me i was dumb and asinine for even asking the question about Max Roach. The jazz snob comment was not towards you Todd, or anybody else. It was just that one guy, who has since deleted his comment.

Anyways, yes sir i totally understand where you're coming from. No hostilities. My goal of this thread was just to get some other perspectives on the topic. Thats all. I was acknowledging that my conception of Max Roach was ill informed. My aim was never, “Max Roach sucks. Change my mind.” Im not trying to be sold on Max Roach, but rather, to explore a line of inquiry.
 

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