Tuesday, May 4, 2010

for max roach (2)

for max roach
(1924 -- 2007)

a double kwansaba

from the great dismal swamp u came
to put fear & awe in the
drummer; to do more than just keep
time. to make magic, play the pulse
of the standard 4 on the ride
& free up the three other limbs
to make real change; to make music.

one of the last bebop giants, u
lived long, long enough to tell yr
whole story -- in solos, mixing up pitches,
timbres, using deft silence or blazing speed--
by making yr drums talk, sing yr
passion song of freedom, human rights, &
change until the very day u died.

© Joseph McNair


  1. Max roach was the greatest drummer in jazz and one of the most conscious human beings to walk the planet. thank you for this tribute.

  2. Max has always been one of my favorites, too. Thank you for your kind words