The Artistry of Max Roach with Ali Jackson
To say Max Roach was a bebop pioneer, or a paramount innovator of the drums, or a prominent social activist would be accurate. Yet these labels fall short of this American icon’s totality. One drummer who not only understands this idea, but has benefitted from Roach single-handedly changing the perception of what it means to be a drummer, is composer, arranger, and percussion wizard Ali Jackson. After crossing paths with Roach at age 12, Jackson was forever impacted, and the two would enjoy a formative student-teacher connection. In a one-night-only salute to the father of modern drumming, JLCO member Jackson illuminates Roach’s conceptual and artistic genius. As a drummer, Roach kicked down perceived boundaries of drumming, creating clear melodies, advanced themes, and unparalleled virtuosity. His musical conceptions include early quintet work with Clifford Brown, double quartet with strings, and experimental percussion ensemble M’Boom. Roach’s overt social activism, incorporating music and oration, was some of the earliest in jazz. Jackson’s technical prowess, intuitive emotiveness, and multi-faceted vernacular are front and center in a performance that will include original composition from Jackson dedicated to this special occasion. As an undisputed disciple of Roach, Jackson will demonstrate the profoundness of this boldly imaginative and inspiring figure. An ensemble has been formed specially for this performance, featuring percussionist Victor Provost, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, pianist Emmet Cohen, bassist Russell Hall, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, and a string quartet with violinists Eli Bishop and Sara Caswell, violist Jeremy Kittel, and cellist Eugene Friesen.
Free pre-concert discussion at 7pm.