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The Max Roach Trio (feat. Hasaan Ibn Ali)

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Album Review

Pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali only made one recording in his life, this trio set with drummer Max Roach and bassist Art Davis. A very advanced player whose style fell somewhere between Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor (with hints of Herbie Nichols), Hasaan actually had a rather original sound. His performances of his seven originals on this set (a straight CD reissue of a long out-of-print LP) are intense, somewhat virtuosic and rhythmic, yet often melodic in a quirky way. This is a classic of its kind and it is fortunate that it was made, but it is a tragedy that Hasaan would not record again and that he would soon sink back into obscurity.

Biography

Born: 10 January 1924 in New Land, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In a profession star-crossed by early deaths — especially the bebop division — Max Roach was long a shining survivor, one of the last giants from the birth of bebop. He and Kenny Clarke instigated a revolution in jazz drumming that persisted for decades; instead of the swing approach of spelling out the pulse with the bass drum, Roach shifted the emphasis to the ride cymbal. The result was a lighter, far more flexible texture, giving drummers more freedom to explore the possibilities...
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