Max Roach season: what they’re spinning

Radio Roundup: the programming, and the big show, celebrating Roach's birth centenary

Max Roach season: what they’re spinning
(1947) Photo William P. Gottlieb collection at the Library of Congress, public domain.

It's Max Roach season, honouring the legendary drummer's birth centenary. This week, The Infidels announced quite a show to ring it in; at the VIFF Centre, a documentary about Roach will screen alongside a set of music by Feven Kidane, Nebyu Yohannes, John Nicholson, Quincy Mayes, Bella Fedrigo, and Edmonton-based drunner Biboye Onanuga:

Black History Month: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes + Feven Kidane Sextet Live | Vancouver International Film Festival
Enjoy great movies at the luxurious VIFF Centre, voted one of the best cinemas in Vancouver and home to the prestigious Vancouver International Film Festival.

The jazz radio shows in our community have all been featuring Roach, which makes for the perfect timing to bring you the first edition of my Radio Roundup at Rhythm Changes. I've listened to the programs and will highlight memorable things from each of them for you, linking out to the music for your convenience.

Appropriately, Tim Reinert broke the ice on Jan. 8's edition of The Infidels Jazz Show, airing the first of three multi-hour episodes dedicated to Roach. In it, he declared that "Constellation" is his favourite of Roach's recordings with Charlie Parker:

That was the 40s, before the album era. We're bebopping one track at a time. In Tim's second episode in the series, he shifted decades to the onset of the 60s, to Roach's emergence as an activist, and the seminal album We Insist! with a spin of the intense song "Freedom Day":

Then, a week ago today on Friday, Nou Dadoun played this hidden gem – a live recording of Roach playing the Cultch in the 80s with a free-spirited chordless quartet, which amazingly we can access on Bandcamp: