Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Transcription: Max Roach comping

Part 3 of a little mini series, looking at some comping examples by Tony Williams, Mickey Roker, and now Max Roach. This is Max's playing during Clifford Brown's solo on Flossie Lou, from Clifford Brown & Max Roach at Basin Street. The solo is 32 bars long, and the transcription begins at 0:45.

Max plays the hihat on 2 and 4 throughout, but I've only written it where he plays something different, or where seeing it will be helpful. He also plays the bass drum throughout, but I've only written the accents. It's audible between those frequent & of 3/& of 4 comping hits, but I mostly didn't write it in. In this small sample, Max always hits the cymbal on the downbeat after an accent on the & of 4; compare that with the Mickey Roker transcription, where he would often not hit the 1 (or ghost it) after an accent. It's a subtle point, but that's the kind of stuff we check out.

Note the rubadub-like meter-within-meter phrase in the last four bars of the chorus. I always check out what drummers play in the first 1-4 bars behind a new soloist— that's the last bar on the page before the slashes.

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