I talk about Max Roach as often as I can, because.
I talk about Max Roach because Max Roach needs to be talked about.
The last time I gave him some blog worship was this March. Check it Here.
So what’s new?
Well, there’s been some excitement regarding the Higgs boson, which sounds like something on a sailing vessel.
It’s a happy day for science (and scientists) and I salute their dedication and faith (see what I did there?).
Of course, whether or not this discovery confirms or further clouds the issue of a “God Particle” we can, as always, find just about all of our answers by looking around us.
We can’t prove God exists but with Max Roach we have no such issues.
We know he lived and we have the documents to prove it.
Here is my succinct scientific hypothesis: Max Roach did not keep time, he was time.
Here is my proof: No cymbal has ever been the same since he roamed the planet: he did not simply ride the cymbal, he massaged it; cajoled it, he owned it but he did so with respect and experience. He did these things because no one else could do them as well. (Another handy definition of a genius.)
If you are just joining the rest of your life with jazz, congrats. Come on in, the water is warm.
When it comes to Max Roach, you literally can’t go wrong.
Instructions: find a recording that he led or played on. Acquire it. Listen. Repeat. Enjoy.
It’s that simple. It’s that wonderful.
Max Roach remains God.
Can I get an Amen?
Here he is with the effulgent prince, Booker Little:
Here he is with Sonny Rollins.
Here he is with the legendary Hasaan (special props that this is uploaded from a vintage LP):
Again with Booker Little, and a personal favorite from one of the all-time great Roach recordings (no musician I’ve ever heard, in any genre from any time, can mix melancholy longing with ecstatic release like Little):
Some smoking improvisation with the (unjustly) unheralded Anthony Braxton:
Bonus footage. Max drops knowledge: