Thursday, August 16, 2007

RIP Max Roach


Max Roach, Gene Krupa, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, "?uestlove," Phil Collins--drummers drive the beat of the world. And Max was the best of all. Max was a master of "our" gift to the world, Jazz. No, you boneheads--it wasn't Hip Hop. JAZZ.
I met him in 2002 in NY when my first book came out. We were guests on BET Tonight with Ed Gordon, along with Miz Jones (of big boobs and radio fame) and a celebrity gossip columnist whose name escapes me but she was one of Michael Jackson's mouthpieces on the pundit shows during the molestation trial. I was in the chair getting the oil shine on my face reduced before the taping, and Max walked in and said: "Make up? Man, you are a writer, not a movie star. It is your job to be natural." So I shined on TV. But he and I entertained Ed and sounded halfway intelligent. We were schduled to come back, but then BET cancelled all of it's news and public affairs programing. But Max rises above the fads and marketing and pandering. Max. The artist. Being natural.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought you were on the one with that hip hop dancer dude that played "Lem" on the TV version of "Soul Food?" Miss Jones? Lawd what was that like?

My mother and great aunt are mourning Max Roach right now. CDs are playing all over the house...

Erica C. said...

Eventhough I'm from Cheraw, S.C. birth place of the great Dizzy Gillespie, I feel a great loss with Max. (He's originally from North Carolina). I have a cd of Monk that he appears on.

Cheraw hosted the first Dizzy Gillespie Jazz Festival last year and will continue this year. They had most of his orginal band mates there but I'm not sure if Mr. Roach was there or not.

He will be greatly missed.

Pebbles Flintstone said...

Great tribute Chris!
Max was an original and he will truly be missed.

Anonymous said...

Meh!

michael a. gonzales said...

had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years ago...the man was a lion

Bygbaby said...

Thx for posting this & don't trip. I have never hear of Max Roach before.

I have some reading to do on him.

I had a flashback when you mentioned the canceling of news programs on BET. That was the beginning of the end for that "hot ghetto mess" of a station!

Bygbaby

your Sis said...

Your nephew still has the autograph you got for him during that meeting at BET.When I told him that Max had died, he responded, "I guess he was really old."

Christopher Chambers said...

Nows the time to sell the autographed photo on e-bay so he can buy new Transformers...

Bygbaby...for shame!

lance williams, sr said...

Okay, why are you lumping Phil Collins in with that group? Technique-wise yeah he was likely better than Ringo, but man come on, when he went solo he was buble gum all the damn way! Ringo had a role, well defined, and he kept on it and became a legend. But Phil, bruh please!!! I'm still vomiting over "Easy Lover" with Phillip Bailey and it's been what 20 years!!!

Cluizel said...

For some reason that I do not recall I got to meet Max Roach when I was in elementary school...field trip of some sorts. My Mom was so jealous. :-) I was the only 6th grader who knew who he was...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

It's a sad day indeed. Very talented man.

Oh and Lance, that was hilarious...Easy Lover? Now I can't get that song out of my head.

I say he stays on the list because of his Genesis days.

BronzeBuckaroo said...

Rest in peace, Mr. Max. Speaking as one of a generation not into hip-hop, you will be missed.

byrdparker said...

What a wonderful tribute you wrote about Max Roach , he was truly a genius !!!!
While I can't say i was around when history was being made on Verve Records , I truly was weaned on Max , Monk and Byrd's Be Bop!!!

Salt Peanuts forever !!!!!
rip max roach !!

Anonymous said...

I was showing some photos to a childhood friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. Among the photos were some I took of Max Roach playing at a club I had patronized. My friend informed me that Max Roach had almost bought the house of his suburban stepmother. The purchase didn't come off because Max Roach’s wife and my friend’s stepmother clashed. Coincidentally, the suburban matron stepmother had once dated Jack Kerouac, but decided that she preferred the affluent suburban life to the beat life.