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  • Max Roach dies at 83

    by Jane is K.O.

    Max Roach is now, after his death on August 15, said (again) to be one of the most influential drummers ever, a giant.

    Why is that so?
    Well you can read about his death on the N.Y. Times
    if they don;t require you to register first. (common bad habit to restrict knowledge).

    However, to me he was VERY influential. He f.i. proved the existence of something later called “hip hop” with a very rough and physical drum style in the 40s already (i was -20 years old, about).

    But look and listen him solo now (probably from the 80s):

    The only drummer besides him, that caught me equally in hip hop type of beat fever long before the term even came up was Jaki Liebezeit, on “Mushroom” on the album Tago-Mago from 1970, but hey: roughly 35 years AFTER Max Roach, who was POP MUSIC in the 40s. People danced, to JAZZ. And they took drugs, oh my. Heroine addiction has cost some of Roach’s fellow musicians their lives in the 50s already. Roach instead, became a political activist and stroke back writing We Insist – Freedom Now in 1960.
    He continued on being one of the first improvising musicians on drums proving that this instrument solo can be entirely satisfying to an audience, then in the 1980s.

    While today’s music uses drummers mostly as a replacement for the visual boredom of a drum machine on stage it might be time for you now to read up about this genius.

    Wikipedia, if a common denominator of knowledge today, can still be a good start:

    May he rest now, and in peace.

    Thank you Max, and besides all the wonderful hits to my rhythm sensors thank you also for not rapping, not ever.

    Jane is K.O. aka jayrope is a Berlin-based composer, producer and musician.
    More info: jayrope.com

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