Album Review

Roach, Max – His Chorus and Orchestra – “It’s Time” – [Impulse C/O Mca]

Thurston Hunger   5/6/2015   CD, Jazz

Old Impulse recording, 1962 and Max as always
a dynamic drummer, dig his solo late on “Another
Valley” so tuneful and tight before Julian
Priester’s trombone slides on in and then those
amazing voices conducted by Coleridge Perkinson.
That’s what forces me to thrust this release
out in front of so many other amazing works from
Max (RIP 2007 and he was swinging till the end
could barely walk it seemed, but put him behind
a kit and look OUT!). But the voices, no one
does this much anymore in jazz, but the avant
swirls to start “Sunday Afternoon” fit in with
weird ear and mouth folks from heathens like
(Meredith) Monk and the Choirs of Cardew angels!
The closing piece here has a then Mrs. Roach,
the mighty Abbey Lincoln, her soul-laden voice
casting weary shadows while Clifford Jordan’s
tenor sax finds a path to hope amidst the
“Lonesome” vibe. Priester gets a smooth
searching trombone solo handing it off to
Mal Waldron on piano, but even in small
moments there the chorus welling up is so
good. Love how the voices raise up “The Profit”
at the start, and later on they’re almost in
(KFJC’s Jack) Diamond lane. Those pipes and
the crisp sparkle or Roach’s drums make sure
now will *always* be the Time!
-thurston hunger

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