Max Roach RIP

Jazz Pioneer Max Roach Dead at 83
And the pioneering jazz drummer, composer and activist Max Roach has died at the age of 83. He helped reinvent the role of the drummer in jazz and played alongside such greats as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie and Cecil Taylor. Max Roach was also a prominent supporter of the civil rights movement. In 1960 he released the record “We Insist: Freedom Now Suite” featuring the vocals of his future wife Abbey Lincoln. The cover of the record showed a photograph of SNCC students participating in a sit-in at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. At the time Roach said: “I will never again play anything that does not have social significance. We American jazz musicians of African descent have proved beyond all doubt that we are master musicians of our instruments. Now what we have to do is employ our skill to tell the dramatic story of our people and what we’ve been through.’ Roach later became a leading jazz educator and was the first jazz musician to win a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant.

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