Max Roach, 1924-2007

Max Roach, someone whom I’ve had the good fortune of hearing live many times, is dead. In the NYT:


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 Wednesday night at his home in New York. He was 83.

His death was announced today by a spokesman for Blue Note records, on which he frequently appeared. No cause was given. Mr. Roach had been known to be ill for several years.

As a young man, Mr. Roach, a percussion virtuoso capable of playing at the most brutal tempos with subtlety as well as power, was among a small circle of adventurous musicians who brought about wholesale changes in jazz. He remained adventurous to the end.

Darcy of Secret Society, who regularly teaches me a lot about jazz, has promised more on Roach; so look for it.