Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Max Roach (born January 10, 1924) is a famous jazz drummer. He was one of the first drummers to play in the bebop style, and performed in bands led by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis. In 1952 Roach founded Debut Records with Charles Mingus.
In 1954, he formed a quintet with trumpeter Clifford Brown which was a prime example of hard bop. Tragically, the group was to be short-lived, Brown and the group's pianist, Richie Powell , were killed in a car accident on the Pennsylvania turnpike in June 1956. Roach eventually formed a new quintet featuring trumpeter Kenny Dorham and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Later, the short-lived trumpeter Booker Little was to join the group. During this period, Roach recorded a series of albums for the Emarcy label.
In 1960 he composed (and recorded most of) the We Insist! -Freedom Now suite, after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Using his musical abilities to comment on the African-American experience would be a significant part of his career. Unfortunately, Roach suffered from being blacklisted by the American recording industry for a period in the 1960s. During the period 1962-70, Roach was married to the singer Abbey Lincoln, who had performed on several of Roach's albums.
In the early years of the twentieth-first century, Roach became less active owing to the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
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