Mental Floss

Max Roach Hits Some Drums

Chris Higgins

Surely you're familiar with Max Roach, the fantastic jazz drummer. Oh, you're not? BEHOLD:


Using just two sticks and a hi-hat, Roach demonstrates the versatility of his craft. Keep your eyes peeled for the section near the end, when he turns a stick around and uses the reverse end.

Snare with Brushes

There's a lot you can do with "just" a snare drum. If you don't believe me, ask Violent Femmes. Here, Roach plays with brushes -- allowing some extra expression over plain old drumsticks.

Full Kit Solo

Here we see what he does with a full kit.

Max Roach vs. Buddy Rich

A drum-off (audio only with stills) from 1959; this is "Sing, Sing, Sing" from the album Rich Versus Roach (CD, MP3). Buddy Rich Quintet is mixed into the left channel; Max Roach Quintet is on the right. Spoiler alert: everybody wins.

(Hi-hat clip via The Kid Should See This.)