4. Roy Brooks Understanding (Reel to Real)
Understanding is not a masterpiece. It is a raw, sprawling slice of life. It preserves a day in 1970 otherwise lost, when Woody Shaw was 25 and newly brilliant and fearless, and Roy Brooks played volcanic drums like no one has since. On a Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, in the Famous Ballroom (demolished long ago), the noisy crowd sounds oblivious to their moment in history. They think such music will play on forever. THOMAS CONRAD
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