The death of Max Roach, the innovative master percussionist whose transformations and excursions changed jazz music forever, is felt very heavily here at Loudersoft. His accomplishments are nearly unequaled in the world of modern music; his work was instrumental in the construction of the bebop movement which, if you didn’t know, is widely considered the dominant form of modern jazz among purists. The breathtaking rhythms of post-World War II’s uptown New York City jazz revolution are reflected in every measure, and in the howl of his timing you can hear the foundation that Max Roach laid. The house that Max built is something that a lot of music listeners may take for granted; but then again, how many who have come through have altered music to form a new standard?
It’s not just about Max Roach the drummer, either. Perhaps equally as important as his work in music was his reputation as a fearless innovator. The manner in which he approached his work and the obstacles of his life let people know that they were dealing with the best. His mere presence, it was often said, demanded the respect and admiration of those around him because he carried himself with the distinction of who and what he was. He walked the talk and challenged you to do the very same; he did not settle for things to be second best.
Max Roach, thank you for all the wonderful music that you have given us. I have a date with The Quintet’s Jazz At Massey Hall so I can remember you to the rafters.