I've been perusing social media lately ( always a treacherous thing for me ) and I keep running into references to Max Roach. Awesome right? Except that these people seem to always focus on how fast he can play. Mr. Roach certainly could play with a lot of velocity, but to focus on that is getting such a tiny part of the picture. One of the catalysts for all this discussion seems to be this album. ( I'm just focusing on the track "Figure Eights", but you get the idea. )
In all honesty, I love both Buddy and Max but this album really represents a lot of what I hate about how drums are presented. The "drum battle ' usually focuses on technique and doesn't take into account feel, sound, ideas, etc. So folks were talking about how Buddy won on this album. THERE IS NO WINNING OR LOSING IN MUSIC, THIS IS ART!
Buddy is great.
Max is great.
We have much to learn from both of them
End of story
Okay, to end on a positive note and as a palette cleanser. ( You van find many better performances from Rich and Roach elsewhere ) here's the recently departed John Abercrombie with Michael Brecker, Marc Johnson, and Peter Erskine playing Johnson's wonderful "Samurai Hee Haw". Enjoy.
See? Music is wonderful when it isn't a competition!