Max Roach and Scott Robinson Drum Battle (1977)

SKF NOTE: This drum battle between Max Roach and ten-year old Scott Robinson was recorded at the Charlie Parker Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri by KCUR-FM on Sept. 17, 1977. My best guess: this cassette was mailed to me when I was Modern Drummer managing editor (1980-1983).

Max Roach here is 53-years old. How he treats Scott Robinson, Max’s remarks to the audience, and, of course, the drumming — it’s all good listening, all good to have in the public square.

Max Roach: “You know, one of the most rewarding things to me, being involved to perform up here is that it is an expression of true democracy. And I’ll tell you why I say that. Every individual, when they get on a bandstand here to play, has his say; do exactly what is supposed to happen.

“We play a little line and all of us participate. We all say what we want to say: harmonium. And further, I’d like to say that this great music, that is really an expression of the United States of America, also expresses, I think, the American dream and its democratic process by the way it is played, and the way it is approached, and the way everybody gets a chance to really do something when they get on this stage.

“And I think it’s a wonderful expression of the American experience. I do believe that. And I want to thank especially you folks here in Kansas City because this is the only…as a community center or an institution, or foundation that attempts, and does, teach young people so that we can preserve and perpetuate the things that were laid down by the great Louis Armstrongs, and Baby Lovetts, and Charles Parkers, and so forth.

So, I just want to give you all a hand.”

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