Monday, April 23, 2012

Max Roach Quartet - Speak, Brother, Speak!

During a time when legendary jazz drummer Max Roach was consistently releasing groundbreaking records that spoke to the heart of the Civil Right's movement of the sixties, Roach and his quartet that featured Mal Waldron (piano), Eddie Khan (bass) and Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone)recorded a brilliant live set in 1962 at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco that became the foundation for the record Speak, Brother, Speak!. This album, which was released by Fantasy records, features two twenty-plus minute pieces that included the title track "Speak, Brother, Speak" and the b-side track "A Variation". The date captures the same kind of intense energy that's found on many of the drummer's other recordings during this period like We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite, and Percussion Bitter Sweet, however with a slightly more raw stretched out feel. Overall, a great and yet unfortunately over-looked recording that helps capture Roach's undeniably mind-blowing chops during a time that the legendary drummer was simply at his best.

Max Roach Quartet - Speak, Brother, Speak

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