Thursday, August 16, 2007

Max Roach: May he rest in peace

From the New York Times obituary by Peter Keepnews:

Max Roach, a founder of modern jazz who rewrote the rules of drumming in the 1940’s and spent the rest of his career breaking musical barriers and defying listeners’ expectations, died early today in Manhattan. He was 83.


Mr. Roach was an innovator in other ways. In the late 1950s, he led a group that was among the first in jazz to regularly perform pieces in waltz time and other unusual meters in addition to the conventional 4/4. In the early 1960s, he was among the first to use jazz to address racial and political issues, with works like the album-length “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite.”
The "Freedom Now Suite" was a collaboration with, among others, his first wife, Abbey Lincoln, who has an extraordinary new record out. It's called "Abbey Sings Abbey," and it features fresh recordings of pieces penned by Lincoln herself. The instrumentation is acoustic, with a gypsy feel.

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