Sunday, May 3, 2020

Max Roach and Art Blakey: The Role of the Drummer Leader by Raymond Horricks

© Copyright ® Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

The following essay by Raymond Horricks which can be found in his book These Jazzmen of Our Times, which was published in 1960 by the London Jazz Book Club by arrangement with Victor Gollancz.

It’s important as a “in the beginning” or “how it all began” analysis about the advent of post World War II “modern Jazz” but this one contains some unique perspectives, not the least of which is the fact that it was written while these styles of Jazz [as there were more than one “modern” approach 
evolving] were happening.

It’s nice to see both Max Roach and Art Blakey as the subject of a lengthy essay as each was an innovator in bringing the way drums are played into the modern idiom and each served the music well for years as they endured the perils of being a bandleader in environments which, for the most part, are unhealthy - aka nightclubs.

This is a long piece but in addition to its value for its-time-and-place perspective, it also is one of the few detailed evaluations in the Jazz Literature of the pros and cons associated with Art and Max’s styles of drumming. Although they have come to be considered iconic Jazz masters, not everyone considered them to be so at the time this piece was written.

“A FEATURE of modern jazz in New York through the 1950s has been the increasing use made of the Charlie Parker Quintet formula. If Parker were alive today no doubt he'd call it ironic that this formula, with its trumpet-and-alto frontline, guitar-less rhythm section and handbook consisting mainly of brief, angular melodies worked upon the form of the blues and the 32-bar song, has been taken up by the younger generation of modernists. For in the 1940s, although he obviously felt well served by it, the critics denounced its sparse instrumentation and slight, unison-ensemble voicings as primitive and unworthy of his solo brilliance. Norman Granz, who signed Parker to an exclusive recording contract in 1948, threw a series of red herrings across the altoist's path in an attempt to sidetrack him away from the Quintet formula: string sections, latin rhythms, big bands, choirs, woodwind ensembles. All of them unsuccessful. Exotic surroundings meant little to Parker; a natural innovator, he preferred a unit of spartan simplicity with him, its secure roots acting as a springboard for his own considerably elastic improvisation. To the day he died his creation was never as wholly inspired away from his favourite small group.

What has happened in New York towards the end of the 1950s should close the case in favour of the altoist's plea. There the Parker Quintet formula is omnipresent. Its emotional violence has been stepped up. Its thematic ideals have been exaggerated. Its frontline frequently has had a tenor saxophone in place of the alto, for men with even half Parker's talent are hard to come by, but again the tenormen used have been the ones (Rollins, Mobley, Coltrane et at] who have looked to Parker rather than to Lester Young for their inspiration. Otherwise the formula has been adopted in its entirety by, I should say, seventy per cent of the city's modernists.

Why is it then that this musical legacy of Parker's has enticed so many of the modernists away from their experimenting with jazz workshop units? Economy of manpower can hardly be their sole motive. Perhaps the truth of the matter is that the Parker-type Quintet allows for greater experimentation within solos whereas the avowed experimentalists, concerned with new writing and new forms, are becoming increasingly formalist, some of them even losing contact with the improvised jazz solo. And for the majority of jazz performers the solo is the most precious event in their music. Furthermore, within its simple framework there is the opportunity for a soloist to combine musical intelligence not only with the vital traditions in jazz, the hard rhythmic core, the roots embedded in the blues, the spontaneous imagination and so on, but also with an essentially extrovert emotion which will carry his, the performer's, message of inspiration through to an audience.

This attribute appears to be of primary importance to the New York modern jazzmen. As Horace Silver, the pianist, has said: "We don't want to go too far out. We want people to understand what we're doing." And Art Blakey, the drummer, embroidered on this theme in a Down Beat interview, saying: "In jazz you get the message when you hear the music. And when we're on the stand and we see that there are people in the audience who aren't patting their feet and who aren't nodding their heads, we know we're doing something wrong."

Blakey, and another drummer, Max Roach, have been the foremost leaders of these Parker-type Quintets in the later 19503. However, as well as continuing the approach already described, these two are also using their positions to improve the role of the drummer within the jazz group. And this is significant. For as drummers, while they are the two most important in modern jazz, in style and concept they are quite different from each other. And— within their Quintets—their methods for improving the role of the drummer are quite different.

When Kenny Clarke opened his new school for jazz drummers in the early 1940s Blakey and Roach and Roy Haynes were its outstanding graduates. Since then, partly because for several years his task was the sensitive but quiet one of accompanying Sarah Vaughan, Haynes has seldom shown his immense ability. Blakey and Roach have shown theirs repeatedly and have tended to dictate the way drums should be used in recent jazz.

Blakey, the elder by nearly six years, was born in Pittsburgh in 1919. He studied piano at school and only took up drums by accident when the drummer with a local band he was working in went sick. In 1939 he had his first important job as a drummer with Fletcher Henderson's band. And, when Fletcher was in New York, he listened intently to Kenny Clarke and to the others who were changing jazz at this time. In 1940, he joined a little band Mary Lou Williams had organized at Kelly's Stable in New York City, and from there went on to Boston for a year where he led a band of his own at a tiny club called the Tic-Toc. After that he rejoined Fletcher Henderson.

Next came Billy Eckstine's big band. In 1944 Eckstine's interest in the new jazz had so increased that he determined to put as many of its maturing exponents as he could into one band and take it on tour with him. Many years later, in describing the way he built this band, the singer noted: "The rhythm section was John Malachi, piano; and Tommy Potter, bass, who I'd taken from Trummy Young's little combo; and Connie Wainwright on guitar. Only three when I started. I had no drummer; and I was waiting on Shadow Wilson . . . and the army had grabbed him. At that time Art Blakey was with Henderson. Art's out of my home town and I've known him a long time. So I wired him to come in the band, and Art left Fletcher and joined me at the Club Plantation in St. Louis. That's where we really whipped the band together—in St. Louis. We used to rehearse all day, every day, then work at night."

The drummer stayed with Eckstine for the duration of the band, 1944-47, and in that time almost every modernist of consequence passed through it, Parker included. Observers have said that Art completed his transition from the earlier to the new style of drumming with "Mr. B". Also, that in driving the band he started to introduce the very explosive swing now an integral part of his style. Certainly it can be heard on the four records he made for Blue Note in 1947 with an eight-piece group called, prophetically, "Art Blakey and his Messengers" (Kinny Dorham on trumpet).

Leonard Feather's reference books state that after Eckstine disbanded in 1947, and until he joined Lucky Millinder's band in 1949, the drummer freelanced around New York. In this matter, however, Feather is not to be trusted. For Art himself has explained in a recorded interview with George Avakian that after Eckstine disbanded he left America and travelled to Nigeria. There he lived with the peoples of the interior for nearly two years and, investing in their way of life, he came to know the secrets of their all-important drums. The influence of African drums on Art has remained strong ever since: it is there in his group drumming as well as in his longer works, like the Message From Kenya he recorded with Sabu.

On returning to New York he worked briefly with Lucky Millinder and then toured with the Buddy De Franco Quartet, 1951-53. After this he drifted into the leadership of his own group.

In February, 1955, the drummer opened at the Blue Note in Philadelphia with a five-piece group billed as "The Jazz Messengers". He had with him Kinny Dorham, trumpet, Hank Mobley, tenor, Horace Silver, piano and Doug Watkins, bass, and the music was a free adaptation of the Parker Quintet formula. The Messengers were immediately acclaimed. "They are a swinging and very exciting group," Ernie Wilkins, Basie’s manager, commented. "They have originality and freshness and humour, and if you can't pat your foot to their music, you must be dead," he told Leonard Feather.  On the bandstand and on records they became firm favourites with the public—and this has continued through to the present day, even though Art has changed the personnel of The Messengers several times. With these changes Art himself has become more and more the focal point of the group.

In appearance, the drummer is short and small-boned and has a somewhat leonine face. He has, too, the aggressive personality, and the restless energy that so often go with a small man, and both these characteristics come through when he plays. It is hardly surprising that Art's drums describe his personality for, more than most drummers, he feels the need to communicate to someone, to tell the audience the truth about himself. "Get the message across to them," he says, "get it across the way you feel it." This is one of the things many musicians admire about Blakey. "He plays with the sincerity of a dedicated person," his fellow, Max Roach, insists. And incidentally, it is interesting to note that in the musicians' poll Leonard Feather conducted for his Encyclopedia Yearbook the men who said Blakey was their preferred all-round drummer, included Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, Miles Davis and Milt Jackson, Jimmy Raney and Sonny Stitt.

Roach, on the other hand, was born in Brooklyn and even as a schoolboy was aware of jazz drums and jazz drummers.

"The late Big Sid Catlett was my main source of inspiration," he told Don Gold, "and years afterwards, I remember going to Chicago to play a concert. He was in the wings. He came to see me, as he always did. While we were on-stage he laid down and died right there. Somebody said that Big Sid was sick and I saw them opening his collar. He left us right there. Strange how tragedy strikes without warning like that."

Max left school in 1942. Soon after this Kenny Clarke had a band at Kelly's Stable and he'd hang around Kenny to learn about the new use of drums; often they wouldn't let him in at Kelly's because he was so young. He was quick to learn though, and a little later he was working with Charlie Parker at Clarke Monroe's Uptown House. "Parker was kind of like the sun," he recalls, "giving off the energy we all drew from him. We're still drawing on it. In any musical situation, his ideas just bounded out and this inspired anyone who was around."

After this Max became an established name with the modernists who worked along New York's 52nd Street. "I never had too much trouble because I was in with the right crowd. I worked on 52nd Street with Dizzy, Hawk, Pettiford; and what we were doing was a new thing."

He made his first records with Coleman Hawkins in 1944, for Apollo, and playing Dizzy Gillespie arrangements. "Hawk is one of the most tolerant people I know," he says. "When the new movement was in its infancy, Coleman was the guy who encouraged many of us. Some of my first gigs were with him. I was young and that's why I call him tolerant. He always made me feel I was something."

He was in Dizzy Gillespie's first modern jazz quintet on 52nd Street, and shortly after this he went on tour across America with Benny Carter's band (J. J. Johnson was with the band). "Benny was always so meticulous, musically and about everything else. I'd certainly like to hear more from him now. He's a teacher, like Dizzy is."

When he returned to New York City he was the most sought-after of the younger drummers and he worked with everyone who mattered it seemed, but in particular with Charlie Parker. In 1949, in Paris, I heard him with the Parker Quintet. He played at all the modern concerts of that Jazz Festival, and for me he was one of the real artistic successes of the event. Offstage, I had the rare opportunity of hearing Max play vibes. He is a performer of consequence on this instrument, although he mentions that after hearing Milt Jackson he sold his own set of vibes. I wouldn't be too surprised if in his later years he returns to the vibes: he is full of his own ideas for the instrument.

Back in New York he freelanced, but continued to sit in on Parker's recording sessions for Clef, including the finest of the altoist's quartet sessions when I Remember You, Now's The Time, Chi Chi and Confirmation were made.
In 1953 he went out to California and worked with Howard Rumsey's groups at the Lighthouse (recording an album with the Bud Shank, Bob Cooper flute-and-oboe partnership, and using his own composition, Albatross). Also, poised on a high stand, and with exotic lights illuminating his movements, he appeared in the film Carmen Jones. And it was in California that he started out with his own Quintet. At first it was known as "Max Roach, Clifford Brown Inc." Dizzy Gillespie had said to the drummer: "Man, there's a cat down in Wilmington who plays piano and blows hell out of the trumpet." So Max got Clifford to come out to the West Coast. Richie Powell, Bud's younger brother, came in as the pianist and arranger.

The Quintet opened at The Tiffany Club in Hollywood in the spring of 1954 and Gene Norman recorded its first public concerts in order to encourage nationwide recognition. Of Clifford, Max said to Don Gold: "He was an exceptionally fine musician. As a human being, too, he was wonderful, wonderful to work with and to do business with. He had no stereotyped egocentric eccentricities. He was a musical genius and was constantly developing. He loved to practise. If we worked every night, he'd practise every day. He loved music and people. There were never any hassles in working with him. He was always too interested in doing things, in working out problems. There's no telling how far he would have gone." The Quintet was—like Blakey's Messengers—an instantaneous success. And it continued to be so until 1956 and the tragic auto wreck in which Brownie and Richie Powell were killed.

Since then, Max has used Kinny Dorham on trumpet, and Sonny Rollins on tenor, lately replaced by Benny Golson. "Kinny is another trumpeter who is wonderful to work with," he adds. "Miles Davis says that the only people he can listen to on horn today are Dizzy and Kinny. And I know what he means. When he wants to hear an inspired horn he listens to them. He doesn't hear emulation in them."2 Nat Hentoff, who reviewed this later Quintet's New York debut, wrote: "The quality of the Quintet is a tribute to the musicianship and emotional power of its members and to Max's consistent search for challenges. The group is one of the most exciting and imaginative of current combos. Some nights it may well be Me best."8

Myopic, and with a strong, open face, and ready smile, Max is known as a warm and generous personality, always willing to impart his musical knowledge to others. His easy, impromptu teaching at the John Lewis directed summer jazz schools at Lennox has been praised by everyone associated with this commendable project. He is a lucid talker, an intelligent announcer with his own group. But, at the same time, he is a musical perfectionist, swift to spot the empty pretender to knowledge or ability. Well known is the story of his working, one night, with a bassist who repeatedly served faults. Max stopped dead in the middle of the second number and sat shaking his head sadly at the bassist while a flustered management implored him to carry on playing. He is both inspiring and continually demanding to play with.

Both men have their own methods for improving the role of the jazz drummer: methods which are widely different. In the early 1940s, there were certain methods that they both learnt from Kenny Clarke: the cross-rhythms; the use of double-time; the accenting of the soloist's path with an assortment of bass-drum and side-drum shots and rim-shots; the setting off a steady, but incessantly fluid beat with the stick on the top cymbal to free the drummer from the monotonous thud-thud-thud-thud on the bass drum that was usual in previous years. In fact, all the methods that came to be known as the first modern jazz drumming, and since then these characteristics have remained basic to their styles,

However, an irrepressible individuality has also remained basic to their styles. "No theory, however comprehensive, no type, however detailed and well-established, will quite cover any single human being," Peter Quennell has written [in Byron in Italy]. "Infinitely monotonous yet immensely various, nature produces a thousand thousand patterns— the vast majority obedient to an established formula—yet each signed with some minute distinctive oddity." In Blakey and Roach individuality has had its say, and strongly, each developing their additional drumming methods and systematically exploiting them with their pre-eminent Quintets.

Blakey's methods have been the more obvious. His intention is that the drummer shall dominate the jazz group, and to this end he has directed all of his passionate energies. Accordingly, when he plays, he can be heard forcing the hand of ensemble and soloist alike with his aggressive rhythmic outlay. The ensemble has a theme to state, and immediately Blakey sets off a fast and unrelenting tempo, persuading, pushing, propelling the other instruments along, punctuating their every few bars with an extra explosion of drums. When the soloist has something to state Blakey decides for him how it shall be stated, pitching him now one way, now another with continual shifts of rhythmic emphasis, persisting with the explosions of drums which momentarily swallow the soloist and then spit him forth once more along a route of no escape. Each of the Jazz Messengers' performances is now resolved in this way. Blakey is in complete control from first to last, and, in effect, each of the performances becomes a continuous drum solo. The men with him are there as less than equal partners. They are always in headlong flight, it seems, before the thunderbolts that are hurled after them from the drums.

Blakey, of course, is well equipped to work this way. If he is the most openly emotional drummer in jazz, concerned with what he calls 'the message', he is also an exceptional drum technician. As a timekeeper alone he is exceptional, and especially when he sets off one of his fast tempos and has to maintain it—stick to top cymbal— through a performance lasting twenty minutes or more. "His timekeeping is both strong and strongly controlled and he must have wrists of steel to do it," one writer noted. Actually, when he sets off his fast tempos Art can keep equally steady time on his foot-operated high-hat cymbal, and this comes through strongly while he is busy around the drums with his sticks making explosions. With this timekeeping Blakey's other attributes fall into line effectively: his sense of sounds; his strength with sticks; his speed and surety in moving around his kit. Not least, his interdependence of hands and feet, vital to the criss-crossing of rhythms (listen to Nica's Dream, recorded with the Jazz Messengers on Columbia for an outstanding instance of this) and to the widely varied explosions in which he delights. And, further to his intention that the drummer shall dominate the jazz group, Blakey has at his disposal the impressive series of effects he personally instigated to help this coup d'etat on its way.

The use of a cymbal with rivets, for instance, carries the impact of his hard, incisive swing through to the forefront of the ensemble. "Art did a lot to bring these cymbals back," Don Lamond, the ex-Herman drummer, explained. "I mean the rivet cymbal that's not a Chinese cymbal. The ones I'm talking about don't have that curl to them around the edge, and the rivets give them the sound of a top cymbal but without too much ring." 

Then there are the other trademarks of Blakey's style: the long, momentum-gathering rolls, which momentarily swallow the soloist so effectively; the series of stick shots, rapidly diminishing in sound, and helped by his arm laid across the snare drum, which punctuate the soloist's line; the occasional slight hurrying of the tempo to give the impression of urgency; the many deeper sounds he extracts from his drums, particularly from his tom-toms, which reflect the influence of African drums on him, and which are so effective in his frequent and overpowering explosions. This style of his is now increasingly familiar in contemporary jazz. Not only has Blakey himself worked and spread his gospel with the fierce passion of a Magzub, but he has inspired disciples—notably Philly Joe Jones—whose work has had a similar effect. 

And yet the acceptance of this style, and, even more, of what lies behind it, is still far from complete. Musicians of Blakey's own generation are sharply divided over it. There are those  who weakly accept it, like the men who have worked recently with Blakey's Jazz Messengers group, and there are those who have made use of it, like Dorham and Horace Silver who worked with the original Jazz Messengers, or the wily Thelonious Monk. In the main, these players have been rugged individualists, and the restless energy of Blakey has served only to stimulate instead of being able to dominate them. Most of the drummer's greatest work has been with them—notably his sets with Dorham and Silver recorded 'live' at the Cafe Bohemia in Greenwich Village for Blue Note.

Yet there is a larger body of musicians to whom Blakey and his methods are anathema. Musically, he has made many enemies. Those who believe a drummer's function is to support and not to lead are unanimously against him. Again, John Lewis and his school, seeking to give the drummer equality by encouraging a quiet, but increased musicality from him, are also against Blakey. Others dislike what is described as his 'militant' attitude towards jazz drumming: his continual shows of strength, and his refusal to relax into quiet and reflective jazz (although, knowing Blakey's aggressive, extremely emotional temperament, this attitude is inevitable). For one reason or another, therefore, the doors permanently closed against Blakey and his methods are legion. It is ironic that many of them have been opened to admit his contemporary, Max Roach, as the sole means of keeping Blakey on the outside.

Roach's methods have been the more subtle. Although no less of a drum technician than Blakey, and with a strong, spirited swing, his use of jazz drums is altogether more refined. He is well disciplined: this is more than obvious in his style, with its firm, but light touch, neat, nimble phrasing, and clean sound. Then, where Blakey is concerned with the drums as a medium, a means of "getting the message across" as he calls it (doubtless a result of the African influence on him), Roach is concerned with the drums as an end in themselves. Each drum is an individual voice to him, pure and melodic, and a collection of drums — the jazz drums he has, in this instance—means an endlessly varied musicality to him. All the time as he plays, therefore, he is enquiring after this musicality. How to extract it? How to improve it? How to increase it? His enquiry takes him into unusual areas. On a Thelonious Monk recording (Bemsha Swing, on Riverside) he is heard doubling on tympani and jazz drums in a way that is unorthodox, but stimulating. Discipline, with musicality: this then is essential to Roach and to his methods for improving the role of the drummer in the jazz group.

I have described these methods as subtle; and this is so. Subtle in that his intention is not to dominate the men with him, but to develop with them, A man who trains falcons will explain that force is useless, and only arouses a lasting resentment; the only way is to gain the falcon's confidence, let it learn to depend on its human captor, and eventually it will come to work for him. Max' methods are the same as this, and equally successful. He has arrived at a closer co-operation with the other men in the jazz group than even Kenny Clarke visualized: a co-operation in which the role of the drummer is effectively enhanced, since as the other men develop, so the drummer must develop with them. To do this, to have the confidence of others, and then to have them depend on him (especially Sonny Rollins and other individualists) has enabled Max to advance the drummer's position as an accompanist out of all recognition.

The older drummer as an accompanist was inevitably a back-seat driver. Max has changed all that. He works more closely with the soloists. Always he is at their side, encouraging, quietly, cleverly feeding them in moments of famine, answering all their needs. He described this accompanying method in his interview with Don Gold. "It can be developed," he said, "by listening to everything around you and by fitting yourself in without being smothered or smothering others. It's difficult to do, due to the timbre of the instrument. You can't help smothering the horns unless you're very careful. And if you're too delicate, you can't say anything. You need proper balance and respect. It takes a good drummer to get a lot out of the instrument. Some guys have fabulous drum set-ups but don't get anything out of it. I think it's important too for the drummer to know what's going on around him harmonically and melodically. The other musicians know harmony and melody, and so should the drummer."

All Max' discipline and musicality go into his accompaniment, and the outcome, rhythmically, is at once sensitive and strong. He will pick up his sticks to play behind a soloist, signalling the off with a tom-tom motif, then switching to an intense, buoyant beat that is fast and yet appears to ride along safely, pacing the soloist all the way, but not trying to breast the tape before him; and all the time getting a fine, firm, ringing sound with his stick on the big cymbal that comes through with, but never rises above, the soloist. Where there is a break in the soloist's line he fills it in, effectively, efficiently, rounding on the tom-toms again or crackling across the snare drum, and taking care not to overlap the soloist's return. Where there is a swerve in the soloist's line he fills in behind it; emphasizing it subtly, with a soft, but solid bass drum beat, or strongly, with the stick rapped sharply on the rim of the snare drum, all according to the soloist's need. Where the soloist stresses the theme, he is once more at the ready. "You can play lyrically on drums by phrasing and dynamics," he explained to Don Gold. 

"You set up lyrical patterns in rhythm which give indications of the structure of the songs you're playing." (On Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, recorded with Clifford Brown for Emarcy, Max is heard feeding a new lyricism, a jazz lyricism into the theme.) Rhythmic changes he makes with ease, where or when the soloist calls for them, and being so close to the soloist he invariably makes these without the actual call being sent out.

Then there is his careful and consistent gradation of sound behind soloists. If the soloist is a strong, rugged player, Max will turn up the volume of his cymbal sound until it is immediately below that of the soloist. If the soloist is a quiet, thoughtful player though, and perhaps inclined to project weakly, Max will turn down his volume accordingly, and even encourage him past the moments of weakness. When the solo instrument itself is small in sound, as with the piano and the double-bass, he will turn the volume down to a mere suspicion but without unsettling the tempo.

"I change according to who's playing and what he's playing," he says. "You have to play behind a soloist according to how you interpret what he's doing at the time. He may be playing something delicate or fiery or something else. There are a lot of different things you can do to complement a man's solo and also to keep the rhythm more interesting and still keep that sound of the rhythm section going. It's a matter of not being overbearing and overpowering and yet remaining stimulating."

He will pick up his wire-brushes when there is a ballad to be played,  and—unlike Blakey—he is prepared to relax and move along with its moods, his brushes having a warm, sensuous feel, as of fingers smoothing down a velvet dress, or if the mood is a sinister one, sliding and hissing with the malevolence of a rattlesnake.

Finally, and the reason why so many soloists prefer his accompaniment, Max is malleable: always ready to meet them and to answer their often peculiarly personal needs. In this, his attitude is that of the modern liberal (whereas Blakey's attitude in accompanying, dogmatic and unbending, is definitely that of the choleric conservative). Nowhere is Max more malleable than during three performances of Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus LP (recorded for Prestige in 1957). For the first, as Rollins works out a long and tortuous improvisation with the melody of Moritat, the theme from Kurt Weil's Threepenny Opera, Max elects not to complicate matters. He keeps steady time with simple, but oddly singing cymbal beats. For the second, You Don't Know What Love Is, a brawny ballad, his wire-brushes pad along beside Rollins all the way, whispering their advice. For the last though, St. Thomas, a jazz calypso, Max answers Rollins' call to arms. The sound of his drums swells dramatically. Filling out with tom-toms, bass drum and a discreet high-hat behind Rollins' first solo, roaring along with flared top cymbal and the remaining stick roaming all over the drums behind the tenor's second and third solos, accenting all the while, Max is a continual inspiration. Once again it seems obvious that he is the right drummer for Rollins.

Actually, it seems obvious that Max is right for many soloists, and as a result he has been asked—more often than any other drummer of his generation—to develop with these soloists in advancing jazz. Moreover, to develop in a way that satisfies his avowed intention as a drummer, being disciplined and musical, but also deliberately adventuresome. An instance of this is his prominent part in the making of jazz in 3/4 time, with its deeper rhythmic understanding between the drums and the soloist. (Max has a complete LP recorded for Emarcy of jazz in 3/4 time.) Again, he will emphasize the soloist's suggestion of scene or mood, using the melodic properties of the drums. (His traffic noises on Parisienne Thorofare, recorded for Gene Norman, his train noises on Take The 'A’ Train and his sad cymbalisms on Time which Richie Powell wrote to describe "the time a man spends just sitting in jail, wondering when he's going to get out", both recorded for Emarcy, are outstanding examples.) These indications suggest that, in the future, Max is likely to develop even more with the soloist, rhythmically and melodically, to advance jazz, and that his methods will continue to prosper.

Blakey and Roach: in the long tradition of jazz percussion they stand oddly and uneasily linked together. Each admits a definite respect for the other; and yet it is certain that they do not care for each other's actual methods. As drummers they are everlasting opposites. But with their different methods they have taken modern jazz drumming to its most ambitious point, and none of their contemporaries, except possibly Chico Hamilton using methods completely different from either, has come near to catching up with them. They stand oddly and uneasily linked together in front.”

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