Few figures in jazz have more effectively made a case for the melodic aspect of percussion than Max Roach. As one of the progenitors of bebop drumming, he favored a style of playing that often traced the contours of a song. Just as remarkably, Roach dove more or less headfirst into free improvisation during the ’70s, erecting compositional structures where there was previously shapelessness. Streams of Consciousness (Piadrum), a 1977 tete-a-tete with pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, fits comfortably in both the melodic and freeform categories of Roach’s canon.
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