Monday, October 03, 2005

Max Roach - Drums Unlimited

Max Roach
Drums Unlimited
Atlantic 1467
Mono

Side 1

1. The Drum Also Waltzes (Max Roach) 3:30
2. Nommo (Jymie Merritt) 12:45
3. Drums Unlimited (Max Roach) 4:25

Side 2

1. St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy) 5:08
2. For Big Sid (Max Roach) 3:01
3. In The Red (A Xmas Carol) (Max Roach) 12:25

Personnel

On side 1 tracks 1 & 3 and side 2 track 2;

MAX ROACH, drums

On side 1 track 2 and side 2 tracks 1 & 3

MAX ROACH, drums
JAMES SPAULDING, alto sax
FREDDIE HUBBARD, trumpet
RONNIE MATTHEWS, piano
JYMIE MERRITT, bass

Side 2 track 1 also features RONALD ALEXANDER, soprano sax

What I Say

This is very definitely a Max Roach solo album - so much so that 3 of the 6 tracks are solos by Max. By 1965, when this album was recorded (it was actually the product of 2 dates, Oct 14, 1965 and Apr 25, 1966), Max had been going for years, having pioneered bebop drumming. But he wasn't ready to give up and go stale just yet.

As well as his storming solos (and a calmer moment in the opening 'The Drum Also Waltzes') Max has surrounded himself with a band of younger musicians who are the perfect foil for his virtuosity. Freddie Hubbard, on trumpet, is perhaps the best well known, but look out also for Jymie Merritt on bass. Not a name i'd come across before, but he really does play with style and grace, shown best on his own composition, 'Nommo'.

What The Critics Say

From allmusic.com

“Other than a trio set with the legendary pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali, this set was Max Roach's only recording as a leader during 1963-67. Three of the six numbers ("Nommo," "St. Louis Blues" and "In the Red") find Roach heading a group that includes trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, altoist James Spaulding, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Jymie Merritt and, on "St. Louis Blues," Roland Alexander on soprano. Their music is essentially advanced hard-bop with a generous amount of space taken up by Roach's drum solos. The other three selections ("The Drum Also Waltzes," "Drums Unlimited" and "For Big Sid") are unaccompanied features for Max Roach and because of the melodic and logically-planned nature of his improvisations, they continually hold on to one's attention.”

4/5


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Dee Motivated said...

Condolences and remembrances of Mr. Roach may be on an online Guest Book created for him on Legacy.com at http://www.legacy.com/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=92742878.