Max Roach was an American jazz drummer and composer….who was a pioneer of bebop….along with his work in many other styles of music…. and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history…..after having worked with many famous jazz musicians…..including Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, Booker Little, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.
Roach also led his own groups….with most notably a pioneering quintet co-led with trumpeter Clifford Brown and the percussion ensemble M’Boom….as he made numerous musical statements relating to the civil rights movement. He was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1980….and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992.
In this video herewith…..Max Roach teams up with Billy Taylor and his All Star Orchestra to provide a salute to Duke Ellington with their rendition of What Am I Here For.