WBGO Playdate

WBGO's Playdate: Max Roach Double Quartet

Max Roach Playdate

This is the first web extra for Playdate, Show #4. Click "LISTEN NOW" to stream "Bright Moments," written by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, played by Max Roach Double Quartet at WBGO. This was a personal highlight for Dorthaan Kirk, who presented the great drummer. Photo by William P. Gottlieb.

On May 24, 1987, Max Roach brought at three-part program to the WBGO performance studio in front of a live audience: a set of solo drums, a set with his working quartet, and a set with his newest project, the Double Quartet. 

The band features Cecil Bridgewater, trumpet; Odean Pope, tenor sax; Tyrone Brown, bass; and Roach on drums. The Uptown String Quartet featured Max’s daughter Maxine Roach on viola, Trumpter Clark Terry’s nieces Lesa Terry on violin, Zela Terry on cello, and Diane Monroe on violin.

From top left, clockwise (Lesa Terry, Diana Monroe, Zela Terry, Maxine Roach)

Playdate Show #4 also features a beautiful solo drum song written and performed by Max Roach entitled “Billy The Kid.” The piece appears on his 1984 release Survivors, released on the Italy-based Soul Note label. To hear an additional solo drum piece by Max Roach from Survivors, "The Drum Also Waltzes," performed live inside WBGO in 1987, click below.

In January 2014, Max Roach's personal archive of jazz memorabilia was made available to researchers inside the Library of Congress. Other jazz greats featured on Playdate, with collections at the Library of Congress, include Billy Taylor (Show #1) and Shelly Manne (Show #4).

Listen to additional tracks:

Support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and WBGO.

Playdate funders

Produced for WBGO by Alexander Ariff,
with Becca Pulliam and Duke Markos, Executive Producer Josh Jackson.

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