Max Roach - Members, Don't Git Weary LP
Label: Real Gone
Max Roach wasn't just one of the greatest drummers and percussionists in jazz history; he was also one of the greatest bandleaders in all of jazz, able to adapt his playing to an innumerable array of styles, from bop to free, and blessed with a keen eye and ear for talent. And he always, always kept pushing himself and his bandmates to find new modes of musical expression throughout his six-decade career. Speaking of modes, this 1968 release on the Atlantic label is one of his finest albums, a masterpiece of modal jazz featuring a crack outfit of saxman Gary Bartz, trumpeter Charles Tolliver, bassist Jymie Merritt, pianist Stanley Cowell (composer of half the tracks on the album including the gem "Equipoise"), and, on the title track, vocalist Andy Bey. Discerning ears might detect the first hints of jazz fusion, but Members, Don’t Git Weary is simply modern jazz of the highest order. First American vinyl reissue and long overdue!