Thursday, January 11, 2007

Max Roach - Jazz Drummer

Here's belated birthday wishes to the great, legendary jazz drummer, Max Roach. Yesterday, Jan. 10 was his 83 birthday. All the best, Max.

Max Roach was very close friend to my father. I only met Max once, but that was enough to get a strong impression on me of the greatness of character and integrity he has a human being.

The meeting was shortly after Sam have passed away. I had never meet Max, but had talk to him on the phone once or twice. He was performing at a club in New York and I went to see him with my future wife, Lisa. After the his performance I meekly introduced myself, I intent was just to say hello, briefly, and give him program from Sam's funeral. Max reaction was one of warmth and great kindness. He asked us to sit with at a table and warmly told us of his love for Sam, their friendship, and how glad he was I came to see. He said to call him anytime. I never had the courage to follow up with him on that offer. I didn't what to impose on him or any of my father's jazz friends. But I will alway remember with deep respect those moments I shared with Max Roach.

Here's a photo of Max visiting with Sam in Paris.


Iz said...

Dear Dennis,
Looking in the web for some infos about Max funeral service, I found the post you wrote last January for his bithday.
On that picture, I look like a princess surrounded by the Kings.
I can't believe this was some 20 years ago, 1985/86.. I have been extremly fortunate to have been a close friend of them both.
To day, looking at it, brings me mixed emotions, " But how strange, this change from major to minor...." (everytime we say goodbye).
Again... Yes, I miss Max,like I miss Sam, and I always will.
He was one of a kind. A wonderful Human-Being, and far above.
He makes my heart sings " I could drink a case of you, and i'd still be on my feet...."
I am extremly saddened by his passing.
Lets stay in touch, it has been too

Dennis J. Woodyard said...

Dear Isabelle,

It's great to hear from you. Sorry for the delay in responding. My family and I were in the process of moving from LA to upstate New York, when Max died, so I was not able to do a fitting online tribute. But, your posting more that made up for my lapse. Thank you for sharing such warm thoughts. Some of my fondest memories are of the loving way you, and others, in Paris treated Sam in his final days. I'm sure Max felt about you as Sam did: as one member of his family.

Much Love,

You can email me directly at By all means, let's keep in touch.