Originally written in 2003, DG will be releasing a new edition to celebrate its 15th anniversary with brand new artwork and bonus content, such as new arrangements, remixes, as well as a completely unreleased new track.
This Max Roach date is an unusual set. The outing featured the drummer's all-star sextet (which consisted of trumpeter Richard Williams, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Mal Waldron, and bassist Art Davis) joined by a vocal choir conducted by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and orchestrated by Roach (who contributed all six originals). Unlike most other collaborations, the choir was not overly gospel-oriented and was utilized as a sort of jazz ensemble. Each of the horn players has a feature or two and singer Abbey Lincoln stars on "Lonesome Lover."
Max Pommer, sometimes called one of the few remaining "Old World" conductors, first drew attention for his interpretations of the works of J.S. Bach and other Baroque composers. But since the 1980s he has explored a much broader range of repertory, taking in compositions by contemporary Finnish composers Einojuhani Rautavaara and Kalevi Aho, as well as more traditional fare by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, and even Weill. Pommer, more than most first – rank conductors, has devoted much of his career to teaching, as well as to conducting university ensembles
Although Max Roach was very much a product of the be-bop revolution of the 1940s, he proved to be quite receptive to modal post-bop and avant-garde jazz in the 1960s. One of the finest post-bop dates Roach recorded during that decade was 1968's Members, Don't Git Weary, which finds the drummer leading a cohesive modal quintet that employs Gary Bartz on alto sax, Charles Tolliver on trumpet, Stanley Cowell on acoustic and electric piano, and Jymie Merritt on electric bass. Despite the use of electric instruments, this isn't an album that emphasizes rock or funk elements or predicts the fusion explosion that was just around the corner – Members, Don't Git Weary is very much a straight-ahead effort, and the harmonic richness of modal playing is illustrated by such gems as Cowell's "Equipoise," Bartz's "Libra," and Merritt's "Absolutions."