Friday, April 10, 2009
Max Roach, who died in 2007, was one of the most accomplished and influential drummers of the 20th century, a master of poly-rhythms and unpredictable beats. He was the pioneer and grand master of "melodic drumming," teaching the world of jazz that drums could make musical statements, and not just keep time in the background.
He played with jazz legends, notably Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and helped father the style of jazz called Bebop. His innovative way of playing defied expectations and elevated the drums from background instrument to lead.
An NPR special about Max Roach, hosted by Nancy Wilson:
Caravan, performed by Max Roach and Randy Weston