MAX ROACH — Lift Every Voice and Sing (review)

MAX ROACH — Lift Every Voice and Sing album cover Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Gospel Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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.
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