Giant Steps

Max Roach

 

A stirring version of the John Coltrane classic by one of Max Roach’s finest groups

In the 1980s, veteran drummer Max Roach led one of his best bands, a quartet that included tenor-saxophonist Odean Pope, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater and bassist Tyrone Brown.

The Max Roach 4 stretched bebop into free jazz and played with quite a bit of intensity and freedom while still being connected to the jazz tradition.

For this raging version of “Giant Steps,” performed in East Berlin on July 16, 1984, Odean Pope really digs into the piece during his lengthy solo while Roach and Brown keep the frantic tempo steady and stimulating.

Max Roach takes a typically creative improvisation before the piece concludes.

-Scott Yanow

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