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We Insist! - Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite

Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach

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iTunes Review

Max Roach’s ambitious We Insist! appeared in 1960, just as the civil rights movement was entering its crucial phase. The album’s mixture of modern jazz, African rhythms and sparse but powerful lyrics (contributed to Oscar Brown Jr.) still has the ability to unsettle and inspire. Its compositions take a critical view of American history from the slavery era onwards, broadening into a larger cry for justice on the African continent. Singer Abbey Lincoln’s performances are remarkable for their emotional resonance and visceral impact, taking her leagues beyond the nightclub stylings of her earlier recorded work. Backed by a top-flight ensemble (including the legendary saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and trumpeter Booker Little), she ascends from the rueful work-chant “Driva’man” into the restless, bebop-tinged “Freedom Day.” Driven by Roach’s ruminative drumming, she makes “Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” into an act of catharsis with her violent wails and serene murmurs, and the mesmerizing tribal percussion of “All Africa” leads into the bracing, multi-textured explorations of “Tears for Johannesburg.”

Customer Reviews

RIP - Max Roach

Max Roach was the drummer behind most of the bop and hard bop that happened from around 1945 until around 1960. Then, he recorded this gem with Abbey Lincoln and put some social context into jazz. It was there already, but Max came right out and SAID it. Freedom NOW; no more nonsense. Peace Max - you were a great one!

Freedom Now Suite

First heard this album in 1967 on original vinyl. Never got over it. 40 years later it is still one of the finest peices of composition and soul ever. The performer mix alone guaranteed an experience - but together they were more than the whole: Essential jazz for everyone.

Classic

Every drummer owes a debt of gratitude to the work of Max Roach, and this album is one reason why.

Biography

Born: August 6, 1930 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

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

As with her hero Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln always meant the lyrics she sang. A dramatic performer whose interpretations were full of truth and insight, Lincoln actually began her career as a fairly lightweight supper-club singer. She went through several name changes (including Anna Marie, Gaby Lee, and Gaby Woolridge) before settling on Abbey Lincoln. She recorded with Benny Carter in 1956 and performed a number in the 1957 Hollywood film The Girl Can't Help It. Lincoln's first of three albums...
Full Bio

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