Max Roach

We’re holding a musical vigil in the library office today in tribute to Max Roach who died yesterday at the age of 83. By any measure, Mr. Roach was one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. As others have and will eulogize him more adequately than I can, I’ll only add two things: I think he was the finest drum soloist ever. It’s almost like the drum solo was invented in anticipation of his talents.
More importantly, he carried himself with an unmistakable dignity in an era and a business that embittered the proudest musicians.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends, including two of his longtime collaborators, Philadelphians Odean Pope and Tyrone Brown.

Here’s one of my favorite photographs of Mr. Roach:

All images borrowed from Bernard Castiglioni’s fantastic site Drummerworld. Thanks.

One thought on “Max Roach

  1. I’d like to quote the Digable Planets (backed by Philadelphians Craig “Doodlebug” Irving and King Britt), here:

    DAMN, Roach can drum.

    That pretty much says it all. R.I.P. to one of the greatest percussionists of our time.

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