Friday, February 22, 2013

Max Roach Quintet Featuring Booker Little

It's Friday folks...and here's some rare footage of the Max Roach Quintet featuring Booker Little on trumpet along with George Coleman on tenor and Ray Draper on tuba to enjoy:

This particular edition of Max Roach's band has long been a big influence on me for sometime. I spent quite a bit of time during the later years of my undergrad degree at McGill transcribing Max's playing on the album "Deeds, Not Words". I dig the use of the tuba as the third voice, particularly in a three-horn configuration with no piano in sight. It's still a rare occurrence by today's standards.

I think Max had a bit of an affinity for the tuba and brass instruments in general. At one point Max even had a short-lived group during the late 90s called "The So What Brass" that featured him with a brass quintet (much like Dave Douglas' current Brass Ectasy project). Unfortunately there is only one recording of this band that I know of it's only one track featured on an album that features Max with a Symphony orchestra. I myself have had an interest in leading a brass quintet + drums project like this for some time.

I think that the piano-less configurations that Max played with in general post-Clifford Brown really allowed him to open a bit more in terms of his comping. His albums "Max Roach + 4" and "Max Roach + 4 Plays Charlie Parker" are also a couple of albums that I've really learned a lot from and Kenny Washington suggested that I really check out these recordings, in particular, for Max's comping vocabulary while playing up tempos.

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