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17 August 2007


"Fair and Balanced" Dave

Great tribute to one of the true giants of jazz. In addition to the great musical examples you've cited, Max Roach's work with the brilliant (and tragically short-lived) trumpeter Clifford Brown is essential listening for any jazz lover.


I got to meet Max Roach when he visited Oberlin in 1969; his daughter Maxine was a viola major and he agreed to meet with our jazz history class while he was visiting her. He was very supportive to the student drummer in the class, and agreed to sit down and play a solo on the kid's kit. It was a piece he titled "A Drum Also Waltzes." When he was done someone asked him if he would show us one of the stickings in slo-mo. He said, "Uh, no." (Like Dr. John: "you mean that little thing I does...?) But my gosh he was gracious and modest. And he had the greatest name any American musician has ever had!


Wonderful post, and tribute, Darcy. I sadly only saw him live twice, once at the Cecil/Max "reunion" show at Columbia around 2000. That one continues to reverberate for me, and likely for most of the thousands who were on the lawn that day.


Yeah, Drew the "reunion" show at Columbia reverberates (what a wonderfully apt word).


A well written and deeply felt piece - I saw Max and Cecil in about 99 or 2000 in London and shall remember that evening for ever. Somehow Max seemed to take a little of the edge from Cecil but al in all it was terrific show buy two grand old men of jazz who were still learning and pushing.


A thoughtful and well-written tribute to Max - despite the sad news, it was a pleasure to read and learn some stuff I didn't know about his career. He was always pushing at the boundaries of what was possible in jazz.


Hi Dave,

I was referring to the Max Roach-Clifford Brown quintet when I wrote "in 1954 he co-founded a canonical hard bop band."


Great tribute -- thanks.

peter breslin

Also highly recommended, Roach's unbelievably propulsive yet subtle work on the Herbie Nichols trio sessions with Al McKibbon. And Roach's duets with Braxton, Shepp, Dizzy...

thanks for a great tribute.



I just stumbled on this again today (5/6/2010) as I am currently listening to the duets with Max and Archie Shepp. Thank you for this obit. Every point was eloquently put, and spot on. Thanks again.

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