Special Programming

KPFA Special Broadcast – January 5, 2008

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Imagine a musician single-handedly redefining what an instrument can do, elevating it to a whole other level. That’s what the late Max Roach did for the drums. Whether its Jazz or rock or funk, there isn’t a drummer today who isn’t somehow influenced by what Roach played.

But that’s only a part of Max Roach’s story, which spanned the Harlem Renaissance, the development of modern jazz, right up to hip hop and multi-media. Over a fifty-year career he blazed his way across genres as percussionist, bandleader and composer.

Max Roach tells his story with frankness and a characteristic sharp wit, supported by "special guests" including Dizzy Gillespie, and noted drummers Paul Motion and Art Taylor. Max Roach–Drums Unlimited is narrated by Kenny Washington, a host of shows on public radio and Sirius, and himself a well-known jazz drummer. Washington brings his own drum-knowledge to the table, as well as a friendship with Max Roach.

Max Roach passed away in August, 2007.  Produced by Ben Shapiro.