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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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MAX ROACH plus FOUR

Quiet As It's Kept

Mercury SR 60170

 

 


1. Quiet As It's Kept
2. To Lady
3. Lotus Blossom
4. As Long As You're Living
5. The More I See You
6. Juliano

Max Roach - Drums
Tommy Turrentine - Trumpet
Julian Priester - Trombone
Stanley Turrentine - Tenor sax
Bob Boswell - Bass 


In the annals of jazz drumming, there are only a few seminal figures. One of them is Max Roach. From his earliest days in the mid-40's on 52nd Street with Dizzy Gillespie; as the regular drummer with the classic Charlie Parker Quintet including the celebrated 1953 recording at Massey Hall, Toronto; and as co-leader of the ground-breaking Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, Roach maintained his reputation as one of the most influential drummers in jazz.

Following the tragic and untimely deaths of Clifford Brown and Richie Powell in a car accident in 1956 (both of whom were original members of the previously noted quintet), Roach struggled with the past and was ambivalent about the future direction of his music. Nevertheless he brought together this short-lived piano-less quintet which continued to concentrate on hard bop themes. In addition to Roach, the members were the Turrentine brothers, Tommy on trumpet and Stanley on tenor sax, along with trombonist Julian Priester and an unknown bass player, Bob Boswell.

The material for the most part is original pieces with the exception of The More I See You, which features Stanley Turrentine's wide-open tenor sound, and Kenny Dorham's Lotus Blossom which has some interesting drum work by Roach. The other entries all feature the blistering trumpet work of Tommy Turrentine, the mellow trombone of Julian Priester, the soulful tenor of Stanley Turrentine and ultimately the cohesive superior sound of this under-recorded transition band.

The remastering on this true stereo disc is excellent but, coming in at a meagre 33 minutes, this CD is not a value-for-money play, but an opportunity to have a long out-of-print record from a unique group.

Pierre Giroux 



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