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The Place of the Drum Solo in Jazz

Top drummers share their opinions about soloing and reveal their favorites

Max Roach
Max Roach at the Three Deuces, 1947. Photo by William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

Photo above: Max Roach at the Three Deuces, New York, 1947 (William P. Gottlieb Collection/Library of Congress).

Last October, JazzTimes surveyed a number of musicians and contributors to come up with a list of 40 Essential Solos. The results ran the gamut of styles and eras, but the article had one (not uncommon) shortcoming: Only a single drummer from the entire history of jazz managed to make the cut. (That would be Elvin Jones on “Monk’s Dream” from Larry Young’s Unity, for those keeping score.)

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