Max Roach Passes Away

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 03:28pm | Post a Comment
Max Roach has died.

He was 83.

max roach

max roachHe was the last  of the Be Bop greats and one of the most inventive and experimental drummers in the history of jazz.

Much has already been written about Roach.

On a personal note, I hadn't been an avid jazz listener, but then I happened to have that oh so common experience which brought with it respect and appreciation for the form:  The College Intro To Jazz Class.

This class exceeded the typical music course though:  My professor, Smith Dobson, was one of the best I had.  He introduced me to Max Roach and many others like Sidney Bechet and Mingus.  I could tell jazz truly was his life and he was continually inspired by what he heard and performed.  He would grab other jazz students and play for us on stage regularly in class.  He made us laugh and taught ussmith dobson uc santa cruz jazz professor about the jazz aesthetic by effortlessly embodying it.  He encouraged all of us to get involved, get out to jazz gigs and recognize how revolutionary the form is.

Sadly, a few months after my class ended, Prof Dobson died in a car accident while returning home from a performance.  It was a huge and shocking blow to the many students who loved him and were not sure how they would continue their musical education without him.  I credit him fully with my appreciation for jazz and its history-- if it were not for him I still might not have heard Max Roach.

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