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We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 1, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

At a time when the civil rights movement was starting to heat up, drummer Max Roach performed and recorded a 7-part suite dealing with black history (particularly slavery) and racism. Driva' Man has a powerful statement by veteran tenor Coleman Hawkins and there is valuable solo space elsewhere for trumpeter Booker Little and trombonist Julian Priester, but it is the overall performance of Abbey Lincoln that is most notable. Formerly a nightclub singer, Lincoln really came into her own under Roach's tutelage and she is a strong force throughout this intense set. On Triptych: Prayer / Protest / Peace, Lincoln is heard in duets with the drummer and her wrenching screams of rage are quite memorable.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 1988)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Candid Records
  • ASIN: B00008EX7B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's a crime that this title should remain out of print in the U.S., and still very difficult to find elsewhere (my order for it has been put on backorder three times).
Not only is this a landmark in jazz, but a landmark in the way it reflects the civil rights movement of the 60's. The music is intense and stirring, certainly the most powerful music Max Roach has ever recorded (even more so than his great, masterful work with Clifford Brown). Recorded with Abbey Lincoln, at the time married to Roach, and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, this used to be a popular album among jazz enthusiasts, but for some reason it's been given some pretty shabby treatment, having been allowed to drift into relative obscurity. If you can get a copy for a decent price, pick it up.
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Format: Audio CD
We Insist! Freedom Now...
Is a beautiful record and the digital download is a major bargain. BUT, be aware this is mastered from a vinyl copy. It has several pops throughout and the surface noise associated with a good (but used for 30+ years) record. Works fine for me but thought I'd add this caveat...
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Format: Audio CD
Max Roach's "We Insist!" is one of the most powerful pieces of music ever committed to record. It is rarely available (although I was able to order a copy direct from Candid) but is worth taking the time to seek out, regardless of cost. With a band featuring trumpet genius Booker Little and sax legend Coleman Hawkins along with three percussionists (including Olatunji) and featured vocalist Abbey Lincoln, Max Roach and Oscar Brown, Jr., inspired by the sit-in movement, assembled a political album without parallel.

Before going any further, I'll speak of the most famous and most powerful piece on here-- "Triptych". Its a duet between Roach and Lincoln in three parts, an introspective, haunting opening, building in tension and power, before drifting to conclusion. It is beyond words to try and explain this piece, it really is something that needs to be heard. Listen to it alone with no other stimulus, it can be overwhelming.

The rest of the album admittedly has a hard time living up to this level of expression and power, but how could it? "Driva' Man", however, is nearly as stunning. A story of brutal slave owners, it begins with Lincoln over thin percussion before going into a positively haunting rendition of the melody and a moving solo by Coleman Hawkins (even with a squeaky reed). The rest of the album is, however, spectacular, and this is really an essential piece of music.
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Format: Audio CD
Hearing Abbey Lincoln scream during Max's drum solo in "Triptych Prayer/Protest/Peace" will send chills down your spine. You have never heard anything quite like this. This music says more about the civil rights movement than any jazz ever recorded. I can't believe this was out of print in the US for a long time--- actually, I can.... this music is just too powerful.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a rare cd indeed, as it's availability on Amazon will attest. The Penguin Guide to Jazz illustrates it's inextricable link to the social and racial causes Max Roach was fighting for at the time of it's release. As for the music itself, there's more singing than instrumental improvising and with a Giant of the art like Coleman Hawkins on board I would have liked more of him and less of Abbey Lincoln's impassioned but musically limited singing. Booker Little too is given scant opportunity to solo and the tracks are frustatingly short. You need to hear this album for what it is and not what you wanted it to be, as I did. Then, it's full power and historical importance will impact upon you. Needless to say but worth repeating, Roach's percussion skills and musical urgency and spellbinding.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The intersection of politics and music rarely results in art that stands the test of time. This is without a doubt one of those rare cases. Not only does it make a powerful statement, but it also features excellent musical performances. This album was released in 1960, during the height of the Civil Rights struggle, and the subject matter is directly pertinent to that phenomenon, but they are by no means dated. Can you really say that it does not relate to the concerns about inequity and political influence being expressed today? The album features the great Coleman Hawkins and the wonderful Abbey Lincoln on vocals. This may, arguably, be Abbey Lincoln's finest perfomance, and she is the perfect vocalist for the job. The music is often dissonant and very intense. if you're looking for calming lounge muzak, this sure isn't it! It is, however, very rewarding to those that will listen.
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By SGJP on August 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Wonderful music with one of the few narrative drummers in Jazz - a man who tells a story and develops a drum-line logically and humanely.

The music is one of protest yes but ultimately so is all of jazz in it's early golden age from '40-'70.

But I advise folks to not be taken advantage of by certain sellers! This can be had for about $23 from Candid's own site. The music certainly is valuable but people who try to profit from beauty should not be allowed to do so.
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Format: Audio CD
Just first look at who is playing and singing here, see the score, then see the date and you have noticed to be landed on the toplevel of the energy that was brought up in order to make clear that enough was enough!
Good Art states something. Hear the rythm here, feel what they are saying and expressing and how pure and unbounded it is said in every way. Lots of messages here and..: No holding back ! This is the Black Movement, the progressive approach, the need for freedom and equality. A cry to stop the stupidity and start sharing. To be heard. But there was a lot more going-on in that time. Now remember how short the distance back till the time where people still had to fight in order to be heard and be seen as an equal human creature even ! It is still happening.
Now, this all could lead into something sounding chaotic or rioting, but no, it is all done on a very high music-level and drenches you straight into the Real Thing of Jazz ! These people are intelligent and have a high-develloped sense for music, free music. Non-commercial, just Making Music.
Every youngster with an angle to music, who is made out of the real curious material, will change the approach after the listening and understanding of this New-Thing-stream Example. Try reaching for the intuitive level..
Abbey touches the spine ánd malehood of every man by stating the Female Power straight, there is a bit of humour and irony, ofcourse- as allways when Bowie is around.., the guys throw-in their skills at a moment where they all are on their tops. They are aware of the unique-ness of their togetherness and challange each other out to go over the hills again and pass the last set borders in order to state a new standard for Jazz.. Just listen to this recording and hear it happen..
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