Here’s a transcription of Max Roach’s opening solo track from his 1965 Drums Unlimited album. I only got onto this album earlier this year when trawling through jazz records in Tokyo. Improvised in 3/4 over a basic foot ostinato, there are no repeats. Max plays a repeated motif but it also varies. The one bar foot pattern consists of the bass drum on ‘1’, the high hat on ‘2’ and a rest on ‘3’. It remains virtually unchanged throughout. The bass drum is always on the first beat of every bar. Get comfortable playing basic rolls and sticking patterns around the kit with the foot ostinato and playing this solo will begin to come together.
Max plays it fairly freely with some sections a little ambiguous and bit of a challenge to transcribe. I think septuplets and quintuplets from bars 160 are a fair interpretation. I’m open to any other suggestions or fixes.
And of course, swing the eighth notes.
Downloadable PDF’s ;
Max Roach – “The Drum Also Waltzes”