Some nice solo work by Mobley and Coleman
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With the break-up of the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, the legendary drummer would take some curious, experimental paths toward greater musical freedom, chief among them the elimination of a pianist or chordal instrument. On some of his recordings--"Max Roach at Newport" on Mercury comes to mind--he even replaced the pianist with a tuba player(!) but to less than productive or satisfying effect. Roach's recordings from this period did not establish any vital directions in the music, nor do they hold up as well today as do the musical paths taken by Miles, Coltrane, Ornette, or Bill Evans. (Elvin Jones tried similar instrumentations beginning in the late sixties but was far more successful, to my ears, in supplying the colors and textures normally provided by the piano. Gerry Mulligan, on the other hand, always compensated for the missing piano through the polyphonic textures of a 2-3 horn frontline.)
"The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker" is not a recording I go to often, and when I do it's for some of the inventive melodic work by Hank Mobley and George Coleman, who split the tenor sax duties on the date (unfortunately, none of the tracks includes both musicians).
If you're a Roach addict and appreciate relatively straight-ahead jazz sans piano, this recording may hold some appeal."