Max Roach began to use his records as an arena for public awareness of social and political issues during the 1960s. Both PART 1 and PART 2 of Roach's 1990 collaboration with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp include compositions that reflect this approach.
PART 2 begins with a long drum solo entitled "TRIPTYCH." Roach's conceptual framework is still firmly rooted in melodic, motif-heavy musical phrases. The highlight here is the 20-minute Roach composition "South Africa Goddam." With political overtones, it delves into the tangled and knotty atonal depths of the avant-garde. Throughout the set, Roach's freewheeling percussion gives the improvisations their required forward momentum.