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Music – 1980 – Drummer Max Roach & Billy Taylor All Star Orchestra – What Am I Here For

Max Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and composer….who was a bebop pioneer….as he worked in many other styles of music….and is widely considered to be one of the most important drummers in history….while having worked with many famous jazz musicians to include Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy and Booker Little….so, as far as we are concerned here at ImaSportsphile….the list above speaks for itself as to the greatness of Max Roach….it pretty well covers the list of greatness in jazz music.  Max Roach was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1980….and into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992.

Roach also led his own groups….with most notably a pioneering quintet co-led with trumpeter Clifford Brown and the percussion ensemble M’Boom. He made numerous musical statements relating to the civil rights movement…..and as seen in this video herewith…..legendary drummer Max Roach plays with Billy Taylor and his All Star Orchestra of their rendition of “What Am I Here For” on the 1980 Kennedy Center Salute To Duke Ellington program….we are just “tickled pink” to have this “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.


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