Max Roach

Max Roach and Friends, Vol. 2

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Quite a bit of interesting and out-of-the way live material shows up on this particular label. One can imagine jazz musicians in record stores, calmly thumbing through bins of their own material, coming up on an item and exclaiming, "Huh? Who put this out?" Two early-'60s concert excerpts make up this release, the second volume of such material Affinity has released on this artist and titled much more accurately than its predecessor. Again there is weird live recorded sound. Again there are performances that seem to be chosen haphazardly. Yet there are two interesting instrumental lineups, especially the earlier show from Paris, in which brothers Stanley and Tommy Turrentine on tenor saxophone and trumpet, respectively, make up the front line, along with the provocative trombonist Julian Priester. Two examples of Roach the composer are provided, both significantly sturdy post-bop. The only thing this band doesn't have is vocalist Abbey Lincoln, but she is on-stage for the other selections from 1961, in which obscure pianist Coleridge Parkinson and bassist Eddie Kahn fill out the rhythm section while tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan is the lone horn soloist. Generally Jordan works well with Roach, but these performances are a bit off. Lincoln, of course, is a presence who would inspire worshipful comments even if she were only to wander on-stage and belch a few times (not that she has ever done anything remotely like that). The material here is from the standard songbook, including a nice "Love for Sale"; those seeking the politically charged atmosphere of We Insist should go elsewhere, which is probably what most consumers looking for Roach material will wind up doing.

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