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  #1  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:30 PM
NUTHA JASON's Avatar
NUTHA JASON NUTHA JASON is offline
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Default Max Roach


Anybody who likes john bonham, or admires steve smith ... or practically any drummer who plays great thematic solos ... must also investigate and admire the man who really revolutionised the way the kit is played. mister roach was a musician who played the drums. he saw in the kit an instrument that had as much status as the sax or piano in jazz. he wanted to make a whole album with just drums - they wouldn't let him. but he was a determined man and so he was able to slip his legendary solos onto other people's albums.
the following clip is astonishing. recorded in the 60s it summarises his three most recognizeable solos:
- for big sid
- drums unlimited
- the drum also waltzs
note how he remains so relaxed and in command. his tiny drum kit speaks more than most multiple tom set ups ever get to say. max invented so many phrases in his life that we now take for granted. my personal opinion of him is simple: he was the most innovative drummer in history.
http://youtu.be/AunZY0fcxRs

he could take just one voice and entertain for long periods of time. take mister hihat here:
http://youtu.be/H8syiOwwVyY

his brushwork ... sigh:
http://youtu.be/cS-xiX64HGQ

you can see from these videos how much he inspired steve smith.

listen to the live version of moby dick - john bonham pays tribute to max by starting with the drum also waltzs (1:04 here: http://youtu.be/cRuTcnd8YLU)

to find out more please visit:
http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Max_Roach.html
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Last edited by NUTHA JASON; 01-04-2013 at 09:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2013, 09:01 PM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Indeed..............................
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:15 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Max Roach

hear hear brother

Max will live on in me for as long as I breathe


you can hear his influence in so many things that Bonham and Smith play

love the footage of John tributing Max..... great stuff

Last edited by Anthony Amodeo; 01-05-2013 at 01:09 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2013, 03:05 AM
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brady brady is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

He could also take one accompanist and entertain for hours...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0yANhawGaU
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:33 AM
krayziemex99 krayziemex99 is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Um all I can say is that Max Roach was a beast lol.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:03 AM
NickPretzel NickPretzel is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

One of my favourite drummers of all time. A true master of the instrument. Personally, I find many drum solos lack musicality, and are of little interest to anyone but drummers or drum fans. Max Roach was one of the exceptions, his solos were melodic as well as rhythmic; he made the drums sing. There's a wonderful drum battle on YouTube: Max Roach, Art Blakey and Elvin Jones. There's great playing all round, but, for me at least, Max takes the crown. If you're interested, you can see the clip here (it's in three parts, hence the three links):
  1. Drum Battle Part 1A (Elvin Jones)
  2. Drum Battle Part 1B (Max Roach)
  3. Drum Battle Part 1C (Max Roach/Art Blakey)
I am more of a rock drummer, but I listen to a lot of jazz. One of my other favourite drummers is Bill Bruford and his version of The Drum Also Waltzes is pretty damn good (The Drum Also Waltzes from the album Flags by Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz). He uses just one piece of electronics: instead of a hi-hat he uses a Simmons bass drum with a clave sound. The rest of the kit is beautifully tuned and recorded; as near perfect as I've ever heard! I'd be interested to hear whether Max Roach fans rate this as much as I do. Please don't think that I want to get into any arguments about who's a better drummer. I emphatically do not. I find them pointless. There are many drummers I admire for different reasons, but I never compare them. I have my favourites and that's a matter of taste, and everyone's entitled to their own taste. In fact, I tend to object to people who say that something is rubbish (though I've been guilty of this myself), when what they mean is that they think it's rubbish. You could probably argue that some music is objectively rubbish, but I've seen too many "why are you listening to this rubbish" comments on YouTube. No one's forcing anyone to listen to anything, so I don't see why these people bother. There are so many aspects to what makes a good drummer that it is nigh on impossible to compare them, especially since many of them are largely subjective.
Sorry, I seem to have gone on a bit. I rarely get to talk about drums as I think it's a subject that bores most of my friends. It's one of the reasons I joined this forum: to give me an opportunity to talk about something I'm passionate about with like-minded people. I hope I haven't bored or offended anyone here.
BTW, I have to say that I'm surprised there aren't more contributions here. Maybe Max has just left everyone speechless?
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:12 AM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

I think we had another Max Roach thread that was tragically deleted by accident or something.

Anyway, I'm in complete agreement. Max was a huge influence on me. I don't think there's ever been a better soloist on drum set. His musical phrasing and melodic approach really set the bar high for jazz drummers. I still have to fight the urge to copy Max too much.

I have heard the Bruford version of The Drum Also Waltzes, and yeah, I do like it. We actually discussed a comparison of them here a while back. Bill holds Max in very high esteem and I think he really "gets it" when he covers that piece.

Max is never more than a few songs away in any playlist on my iPod, but I've been especially listening a lot to his work on the Savoy dates with Bird. His playing was so ridiculous advanced, so ahead-of-its-time.

I've also watched those drum clips you posted. They're very cool. And I agree, Max is the one whose approach to soloing especially resonates with me. Truly one of the greats.
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:34 AM
NickPretzel NickPretzel is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Thank you for your kind words. I'm just checking out all the links here. Wow! This is what I mean about the indefinable, incomparable aspects of drumming: he was so musical, not just a great technician, but a truly innovative and imaginative player. He had it all. In the drum battle I put links up to, he just swings more than all the others, and I really rate Art Blakey and Elvin Jones. It's that indefinable quality that makes you tap your feet, and that's much harder to do in a solo than when you're playing with a rhythm section, at least for me, and I've been told that I've got pretty good "feel". He didn't just put the bar high for jazz drummers, but for all drummers, and I agree with you, as a soloist, there's no one like him.
BTW There's an amusing story in Bill Bruford's auto-biography about the time Max Roach came to see King Crimson!
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:03 PM
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evolving_machine evolving_machine is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

This is a great CD. Only Max and Dizzy playing in concert. In the middle of the CD they have an interview with both masters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_%2B_Dizzy:_Paris_1989
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2013, 04:21 PM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Money Jungle is a great listen as well if anyone has not checked it out yet.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2013, 04:59 PM
rtliquid rtliquid is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

I noticed in the first clip that his top hi-hat cymbal is smaller than the bottom. Does anyone know the logic behind that? I don't think I've ever seen that before.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2013, 07:14 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Max Roach

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtliquid View Post
I noticed in the first clip that his top hi-hat cymbal is smaller than the bottom. Does anyone know the logic behind that? I don't think I've ever seen that before.
a Max trade mark

no one really knows why.......probably air lock and that he liked the sound
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2013, 08:21 PM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

I love watching the old school guys solo. They always look happy when they do, not like modern players who seemed to look pained, like they just got shot or have to poop or something.
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2013, 08:34 PM
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evolving_machine evolving_machine is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Max played with Charley Parker on and off until Parker died in 1955. Max played with Clifford Brown in 1954 till he died in 1956. In just a little more than a years time, Max Roach saw the death of two great Jazz masters that he knew personally and played with. How did this effect him? Did he ever speak of this tragedy?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:13 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

Quote:
Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
Max played with Charley Parker on and off until Parker died in 1955. Max played with Clifford Brown in 1954 till he died in 1956. In just a little more than a years time, Max Roach saw the death of two great Jazz masters that he knew personally and played with. How did this effect him? Did he ever speak of this tragedy?
It's at least very well-documented that the death of Brown really shook Max. By all accounts, he sunk into a depression and subsequently battled alcoholism for a while.

He worked with Booker Little, too, who died much too young.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:39 PM
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evolving_machine evolving_machine is offline
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Default Re: Max Roach

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
It's at least very well-documented that the death of Brown really shook Max. By all accounts, he sunk into a depression and subsequently battled alcoholism for a while.

He worked with Booker Little, too, who died much too young.

Thanks 8Mile, I did not know that. I have always wondered how it affected him. Thought this forum was a good time to ask those questions.
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