Freddie Waits

April 27, 1940 – November 18, 1989

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Bop drummer, Freddie Waits began his career backing blues singers in Detroit including John Lee Hooker.

He never made records as a leader, yet was a prominent composer in Max Roach’s “M’Boom” assembly.

During the early 70s Waits played with the accompanying ensembles of female jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, and Lena Horne.

Other memorable groups in which he played were Dick Hyman’s New York Jazz Repertory Company and the “Billy Taylors Trio”, as well as bands led by Mercer Ellington, Teddy Edwards, and Curtis Fuller.

Freddie Waits would also perform with a number of big name pianists who included McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Gene Harris, and Joe Zawinul.

Max Roach’s “M’Boom” perform live in Alassio, Italy in 1979.


Max Roach, percussion
Ray Mantilla, percussion
Warren Smith, percussion
Freddie Waits, percussion


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