Thursday, August 16, 2007

Keeping Time

Terrible news for jazz fans or for anyone who's admired a good beat:

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 Thursday in New York. He was 83.
Roach played with everybody who was anybody in postwar jazz, and had the chops to match even the Miles Davises and Charlie Parkers. Pick up Money Jungle by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach if you want to hear Roach near the height of his powers.

If there's a god, she'll welcome Max to paradise with the best kit ever.

(UPDATE: If you're interested in hearing Roach's playing, go check Destination: Out!, a great MP-free jazz blog that's featuring the late great right now. Click on the track names (right under the photos) to hear the tunes in your browser, or download them to savor later.)