Thursday, September 2, 2010
Maximum Max Roach 4 Pennies
My eMusic subscription renewed yesterday. As I noticed the renewed credits, I was thumbing through the Penguin Guide and came upon the Max Roach recordings. I have the core collection entries, the Clifford Brown collaborations (Alone Together) and the civil rights hymn We Insist! There is a lot of jazz history and heart in those two issues. I have also commented on Roach's collaboration with Anthony Braxton.
As I was contemplating all this, I noticed that a four and a half star PG recommendation was on eMusic for two credits. That adds up, doing some math on the subscription price I pay, to about 80 cents. There are some reasons it's so cheap. The subtitle, Max Roach Quartet at the Jazz Workshop, makes it sound like an essay. The recording consists of two long numbers. Probably not album of the month.
In fact, this is brilliant jazz. The two segments are what rock fans would call jams. With Roach as leader, Clifford Jordan on tenor, Mal Waldron on piano, and Eddie Khan on bass, they take a simple blues line and milk it for all the passion it is worth. It's worth a lot.
Here is a sample. It is about half of the first number. Don't listen if you ain't got the dough to purchase the whole thing.