Thursday, August 16, 2007

Max Roach (1924-2007)

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. . . .

Over the years he challenged both his audiences and himself by working not just with standard jazz instrumentation, and not just in traditional jazz venues, but in a wide variety of contexts, some of them well beyond the confines of jazz as that word is generally understood. . . .

Mr. Roach explained his philosophy to The New York Times in 1990: "You can't write the same book twice. Though I've been in historic musical situations, I can't go back and do that again. And though I run into artistic crises, they keep my life interesting."

Max Roach, a Founder of Modern Jazz, Dies at 83 (New York Times)
If you've never heard Max Roach, try Money Jungle, with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus.

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