Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's a Fuck You Kind of World

Charlie Parker. Dizzy Gillespie. Louis Jordan. Benny Carter. Duke Ellington. Miles Davis. Charles Mingus. Bud Powell. Sonny Rollins. Cecil Taylor.

These are just some of the greats that Max Roach played with. The guy WAS the drums. He almost single-handedly changed the sound of the kit, with his shift from the swing emphasis on the bass drum to the exploratory pulse of the cymbals. You cannot listen to modern jazz without hearing his influence.

He passed away today at the age of 83, outliving his contemporaries by a long shot. Another legend gone.

And CBS gave him a fitting tribute on their Evening News with Katie Couric. The segments went like this:

5 minutes given to the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death.

1 minute given to the announcement of Max Roach's death.

6 minutes given to High School Musical On Ice.

I shit you not. Read it again, newly abridged.

1 minute for Max Roach, one of the greatest and most influential percussionists in modern music.

6 minutes of a Disney teen fad.

Dear CBS News and the world as we know it:

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