MAX ROACH

Hard Bop / Post Bop / Bop / Avant-Garde Jazz / Third Stream / Swing / Jazz Related Gospel / Cool Jazz / Afro-Cuban Jazz • United States
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Maxwell Lemuel Roach (January 10, 1924 - August 16, 2007) to parents Alphonse and Cressie Roach. He was a world-class percussionist, drummer, and jazz composer.

In 1952 Roach co-founded Debut Records with bassist Charles Mingus. This label released a record of a concert, billed and widely considered as "the greatest concert ever," called "Jazz at Massey Hall," featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach. Also released on this label was the groundbreaking bass-and-drum free improvisation, "Percussion Discussion."

In 1954, he formed a quintet featuring trumpeter Clifford Brown, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell (brother of Bud Powell), and bassist George Morrow, though Land left the following year and Sonny Rollins replaced him. The group was a prime example of the hard bop style also played by Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Tragically, this group was to be short-lived; Brown and Powell were killed in a car
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MAX ROACH Discography

MAX ROACH albums / top albums

MAX ROACH A Session With Max Roach album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Session With Max Roach
Bop 1951
MAX ROACH Max Roach Quartet feat. Hank Mobley album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Max Roach Quartet feat. Hank Mobley
Hard Bop 1955
MAX ROACH Max Roach, Herb Geller, Walter Benton, Joe Maini, Clifford Brown : Best Coast Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach, Herb Geller, Walter Benton, Joe Maini, Clifford Brown : Best Coast Jazz
Bop 1956
MAX ROACH Max Roach Plus Four album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
Max Roach Plus Four
Bop 1956
MAX ROACH Jazz in ¾ Time (aka Jazz Masters (100 Ans De Jazz)) album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Jazz in ¾ Time (aka Jazz Masters (100 Ans De Jazz))
Bop 1957
MAX ROACH Max Roach + 4 on the Chicago Scene album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Max Roach + 4 on the Chicago Scene
Bop 1958
MAX ROACH Deeds, Not Words (aka Conversation) album cover 4.44 | 6 ratings
Deeds, Not Words (aka Conversation)
Post Bop 1958
MAX ROACH Max Roach & Stan Levey : Drummin' The Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach & Stan Levey : Drummin' The Blues
Cool Jazz 1958
MAX ROACH Max (aka Crackle Hut) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Max (aka Crackle Hut)
Hard Bop 1958
MAX ROACH Quiet As It’s Kept album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Quiet As It’s Kept
Bop 1959
MAX ROACH The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker
Bop 1959
MAX ROACH Parisian Sketches album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Parisian Sketches
Bop 1960
MAX ROACH Award Winning Drummer (aka Max Roach) album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Award Winning Drummer (aka Max Roach)
Hard Bop 1960
MAX ROACH We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (aka Freedom Now Suite) album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (aka Freedom Now Suite)
Hard Bop 1960
MAX ROACH Moon-Faced & Starry-Eyed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Moon-Faced & Starry-Eyed
Hard Bop 1960
MAX ROACH Percussion Bitter Sweet album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Percussion Bitter Sweet
Hard Bop 1961
MAX ROACH It's Time album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
It's Time
Hard Bop 1962
MAX ROACH The Many Sides of Max album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Many Sides of Max
Bop 1964
MAX ROACH The Max Roach Trio featuring the Legendary Hasaan album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Max Roach Trio featuring the Legendary Hasaan
Avant-Garde Jazz 1965
MAX ROACH Drums Unlimited album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Drums Unlimited
Hard Bop 1966
MAX ROACH Members, Don't Git Weary (aka I Grandi Del Jazz) album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Members, Don't Git Weary (aka I Grandi Del Jazz)
Post Bop 1968
MAX ROACH Lift Every Voice and Sing album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Jazz Related Gospel 1971
MAX ROACH Max Roach, Clifford Brown : Daahoud album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Max Roach, Clifford Brown : Daahoud
Bop 1972
MAX ROACH Essence Of Jazz Drums album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Essence Of Jazz Drums
Hard Bop 1975
MAX ROACH The Loadstar (aka Deluxe Edition) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Loadstar (aka Deluxe Edition)
Post Bop 1977
MAX ROACH Confirmation album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Confirmation
Hard Bop 1978
MAX ROACH Birth & Rebirth (with Anthony Braxton) album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Birth & Rebirth (with Anthony Braxton)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MAX ROACH Streams of Consciousness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Streams of Consciousness
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MAX ROACH Solos album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Solos
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MAX ROACH Pictures in a Frame album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Pictures in a Frame
Post Bop 1979
MAX ROACH M'Boom album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
M'Boom
Afro-Cuban Jazz 1980
MAX ROACH Chattahoochee Red album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Chattahoochee Red
Post Bop 1981
MAX ROACH Swish album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Swish
Post Bop 1982
MAX ROACH In the Light album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
In the Light
Post Bop 1983
MAX ROACH Survivors album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Survivors
Post Bop 1984
MAX ROACH Easy Winners album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Easy Winners
Post Bop 1985
MAX ROACH Scott Free album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Scott Free
Post Bop 1985
MAX ROACH Bright Moments album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Bright Moments
Bop 1987
MAX ROACH To The Max! album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
To The Max!
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
MAX ROACH It's Christmas Again album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Christmas Again
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994

MAX ROACH EPs & splits

MAX ROACH Max Roach, Clifford Brown : 2 Giants album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach, Clifford Brown : 2 Giants
Bop 1954

MAX ROACH live albums

MAX ROACH Gene Norman Presents Max Roach And Clifford Brown : In Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gene Norman Presents Max Roach And Clifford Brown : In Concert
Bop 1955
MAX ROACH Gene Norman Presents Max Roach And Clifford Brown : In Concert (aka  In Concert Vol 2) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gene Norman Presents Max Roach And Clifford Brown : In Concert (aka In Concert Vol 2)
Hard Bop 1955
MAX ROACH Max Roach with the Boston Percussion Ensemble album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach with the Boston Percussion Ensemble
Third Stream 1958
MAX ROACH Max Roach + 4 at Newport album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach + 4 at Newport
Bop 1958
MAX ROACH Again (aka Max Roach Quintet Live aka Love For Sale aka Mop Mop aka Karbouda) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Again (aka Max Roach Quintet Live aka Love For Sale aka Mop Mop aka Karbouda)
Hard Bop 1962
MAX ROACH Speak, Brother, Speak! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speak, Brother, Speak!
Hard Bop 1963
MAX ROACH Force - Sweet Mao - Suid Afrika 76 (aka Max Roach & Archie Shepp) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Force - Sweet Mao - Suid Afrika 76 (aka Max Roach & Archie Shepp)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
MAX ROACH Max Roach, Bud Shank ‎: Sessions, Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach, Bud Shank ‎: Sessions, Live
Swing 1976
MAX ROACH Sounds as a Roach album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Sounds as a Roach
Hard Bop 1977
MAX ROACH Live in Tokyo, Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Tokyo, Volume 1
Post Bop 1977
MAX ROACH Live in Tokyo, Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Tokyo, Volume 2
Post Bop 1977
MAX ROACH Nommo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nommo
Post Bop 1978
MAX ROACH Live in Amsterdam album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Amsterdam
Hard Bop 1979
MAX ROACH One In Two - Two In One (featuring Anthony Braxton) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
One In Two - Two In One (featuring Anthony Braxton)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
MAX ROACH The Long March (featuring  Archie Shepp) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Long March (featuring Archie Shepp)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
MAX ROACH Long as You're Living album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Long as You're Living
Hard Bop 1984
MAX ROACH Max Roach And Cecil Taylor ‎: Historic Concerts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach And Cecil Taylor ‎: Historic Concerts
Avant-Garde Jazz 1984
MAX ROACH Live at Vielharmonic album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Vielharmonic
Post Bop 1985
MAX ROACH Max Roach + Dizzy Gillespie ‎: Paris 1989 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach + Dizzy Gillespie ‎: Paris 1989
Bop 1990
MAX ROACH Jazzbühne Berlin '84 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazzbühne Berlin '84
Post Bop 1990
MAX ROACH With The New Orchestra of Boston and The So What Brass Quintet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
With The New Orchestra of Boston and The So What Brass Quintet
Third Stream 1996
MAX ROACH Max Roach & Mal Waldron : Explorations …To The Mth Degree album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach & Mal Waldron : Explorations …To The Mth Degree
Post Bop 1999
MAX ROACH Live in Berlin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Berlin
Hard Bop 2009
MAX ROACH Max Roach Quintet : Lausanne 1960 Part 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach Quintet : Lausanne 1960 Part 1
Hard Bop 2013
MAX ROACH Max Roach Quintet ‎: Lausanne 1960 Part 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach Quintet ‎: Lausanne 1960 Part 2
Hard Bop 2013

MAX ROACH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MAX ROACH re-issues & compilations

MAX ROACH Max Roach Quartet ‎: Let's Groove (aka Much Max) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach Quartet ‎: Let's Groove (aka Much Max)
Hard Bop 1960
MAX ROACH Max Roach, Sonny Clark, George Duvivier album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Max Roach, Sonny Clark, George Duvivier
Bop 1962
MAX ROACH In Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Concert
Bop 1970
MAX ROACH Max Roach / Art Blakey ‎: Percussion Discussion album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Max Roach / Art Blakey ‎: Percussion Discussion
Bop 1976
MAX ROACH Again Volume One (aka This Night Mountain aka Max Roach And Friends  Volume 1) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Again Volume One (aka This Night Mountain aka Max Roach And Friends Volume 1)
Hard Bop 1980
MAX ROACH Again Volume Two (aka Max Roach And Friends - Volume 2) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Again Volume Two (aka Max Roach And Friends - Volume 2)
Hard Bop 1980
MAX ROACH Jazz Masters (100 Ans De Jazz) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Masters (100 Ans De Jazz)
Bop 1997
MAX ROACH Too Clean album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Too Clean
Hard Bop 1999
MAX ROACH The Complete Mercury Max Roach Plus Four Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Mercury Max Roach Plus Four Sessions
Bop 2000
MAX ROACH Complete Studio Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Complete Studio Recordings
Bop 2007
MAX ROACH The Complete Remastered Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Remastered Recordings
Bop 2015
MAX ROACH The Complete Remastered Recordings Vol.2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Remastered Recordings Vol.2
Bop 2016

MAX ROACH singles (0)

MAX ROACH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MAX ROACH Reviews

MAX ROACH Scott Free

Album · 1985 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
MORE COMPLEX - NOT FOR BEGINNERS

One of the main reasons for writing this review is to correct an egregious error that appears in multiple editions of the Penguin Guide. To wit: "Scott Free is a hefty two-part suite dedicated to the brilliant young bassist Scott LaFaro, who died in a motor accident in 1961." Of course, with super-percussionist Max Roach, the truth is just a little more complicated than that. If one were to read the actual liner notes for this amazing album, one would find: "Scott Free was inspired, in part, by the case of the Scottsboro Boys, who, in 1931, were convicted (with evidence that can, at best, be called nonexistent) of the rape of two white girls aboard a train in Alabama. Although they were later exonerated, some of the Scottsboro Boys were in prison for over 15 years". There is no mention of Scott LaFaro.

Now that's taken care of, what of the actual music, recorded in May 1984 for the Soul Note label. Max's compatriots on this album are Cecil Bridgewater, trumpet & flugelhorn, Odean Pope, playing a snarly tenor sax, and Tyrone Brown on the electric upright bass. Composed by Bridgewater, this two-part suite (19:58 / 20:17), while not quite "blowing up a monsoon of music" (as the liner notes claim) gives ample opportunity for these phenomenally virtuosic players to truly strut their stuff. Part One opens with a quartet fanfare statement before launching into solos: Bridgewater, Pope, Brown, and Roach in that order. Part Two jumps immediately into the four soloists (in the same order) before closing with a repeat of the opening fanfare statement.

According to Bridgewater himself: "Basically it's a simple piece that just becomes more complex by the way everyone solos." So yes, this album would definitely qualify under that time-honored epithet "blowing session". Yet we're also told that there was some definite rehearsal (including a 90-minute version) before recording, so this is not an entirely improvised album. While categorized as Post Bop, Scott Free thankfully has no vocals and occasionally will push across boundaries into Avant-Garde free playing. Whether you like it or not will depend on how you already feel about the individual styles of the four extraordinary players, who shine like the stars they should be.

MAX ROACH The Max Roach Trio featuring the Legendary Hasaan

Album · 1965 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
One of the most innovative and interesting piano players in jazz history, Hasaan Ibn Ali, was almost never recorded, but fortunately Max Roach put pressure on Atlantic records to record the guy and Atlantic finally relented under the stipulation that the album featuring Hasaan be released under Max’s name, hence the album, “The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan’ came to pass. After the release of this album there was enough interest in Hasaan to have him come record some more, but unfortunately incarceration over drugs got in the way and his recordings were shelved and presumed lost. Fortunately some of those recordings have been dug up and released, so now there are a few more recordings under the Hasaan name, but without this one Roach album, everything would have probably been forgotten.

All of the song’s on ‘Max Roach Featuring Hasaan’ are Hasaan’s compositions, and they reveal his very personal take on what jazz could be. It is an avant-garde album for its time, but it is far from free jazz. Hasaan lays out what he wants from his musicians, and Roach and bassist Art Davis are creative enough to pick up on his vision. A casual listen might reveal a rather dissonant hard bop album, but closer listens show that the rhythmic concepts of this album were way ahead of their time. The musicians seem to hold a pulse together, but it is constantly morphing and changing every couple of bars. The musicians seem to be almost independent of each other, yet they manage to keep it all together somehow.

Tonally, Hasaan is often compared to a cross between Monk and Cecil Taylor, more or less a very dissonant hard bopper. He was also heavily influenced by outside bebopper Elmo Hope and can sometimes recall Herbie Nichols, Jaki Byard and maybe some of Mal Waldron’s more outside excursions. Throughout the album, harsh atonal tone clusters can come slamming down followed by scattered skittish rapid flurries of single notes tempered with unpredictable rhythmic variations. Since Hasaan’s music sounds right at home in the 21st century, you could also reference Matthew Shipp and Jason Moran as pianists who cover somewhat similar ground. This is one of those albums you can listen to over and over again and always find something new.

MAX ROACH Lift Every Voice and Sing

Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Gospel
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Mssr_Renard
A magnificent record blending all styles possible to an almost new style/genre.

Musically this is post-bop, but with all the vocals going on, there's gospel, soul and r&b aswell. This album can be considered a heavy variant on what Marvin Gaye and Aretha franklin were up to.

If only there were more cross-over albums like this. One could also consider this to be spiritual jazz, because of the lyrical concept, but it is too heavy and swinging to be considered spiritual jazz. It is almost impossible to define its genre/style.

Amidst all the vocals there's also Billy Harper playing some heave almost free-ish saxophone. The piano of George Cables really fit the gospel/blues-approach of the album. A wonderful line-up, if you ask me.

The only one really missed here is Abbey Lincoln, but Dorothy White and Ruby McClure can also really sing loud and powerful.

This really is one of Roach's masterpieces, and perhaps one of jazz's masterpieces.

MAX ROACH Deeds, Not Words (aka Conversation)

Album · 1958 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
If you are looking for a midway point on that line that runs from ‘out there’ bebop to free jazz, Max Roach’s “Deeds not Words” would be a good place to start. Max is one of those young guys in the 1940s who helped invent the new radical style that became known as bebop. As time moved on, Max always stayed involved in what was happening, making him the perfect musician in the late 50s to craft a sound that bridged that short gap from Yardbird to Ornette. His crew on here share a similar vision, particularly trumpeter Booker Little, who eschewed the bluesier sounds of Miles and Lee Morgan for a busy and angular bop approach much like his frequent band mate, Eric Dolphy. Although the hectic energy on here is east coast, Max’s use of a three horn front line to build complex arrangements and intertwining contrapuntal lines is more like the west coast innovators of the day. Along with Booker, the front line includes George Coleman on tenor and Ray Draper on tuba.

Most of the tracks on here fall in the up tempo range, plus there is one ballad, and one odd sort of Latin groove titled “Filide“. “Filide” is a Draper original and it features the tuba prominently. Tuba can not be an easy instrument to solo on and Ray does about as good as anyone could hope to. The ballad, title track “Deeds not Words”, gives Little a great vehicle to show off how much he can do with and to a melody. Its interesting to note that Max’s drumming foreshadows the way drummers play today. Instead of just keeping time on the ride cymbal, Max is all over the kit and quite free in his approach as he maintains a constant interchange with the soloists. Although the original version of this album probably carries a hefty tag, the vinyl re-issue titled “Converstion” can be found at a very reasonable price.

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