WE INSIST! FREEDOM NOW SUITE
"We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Suite" is an avant-garde jazz album and a vocal-instrumental suite released in 1960 with themes related to the Civil Rights Movement. Drummer Max Roach collaborated with lyricist Oscar Brown Jr. on the album and wrote songs that played variations on the theme of the struggle for African Americans to achieve equality in the United States as well as a focus on civil rights issues in Africa. The music consists of five selections concerning the Emancipation Proclamation and the growing African independence movements of the 1950s. Only Roach and Abbey Lincoln, a frequent collaborator and subsequent wife of Roach's, perform on all five tracks, and one track features a guest appearance by saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.
With the album, Roach was among the first artists to use jazz as a way of addressing racial and political issues during the 1960s.
"We American jazz musicians of African descent have proved beyond all doubt that we’re master musicians of our instruments. Now what we have to do is employ our skill to tell the dramatic story of our people and what we’ve been through."
- Max Roach
1. Driva Man (Roach, Oscar Brown)
2. Freedom Day (Roach, Brown)
3. Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace (Roach)
1. All Africa (Roach, Brown)
2. Tears for Johannesburg (Roach)
Max Roach – drums
Abbey Lincoln – vocals
Booker Little – trumpet on "Driva Man", "Freedom Day", "All Africa", and "Tears for Johannesburg"
Julian Priester – trombone on "Driva Man", "Freedom Day", and "Tears for Johannesburg"
Walter Benton – tenor saxophone on "Driva Man", "Freedom Day", and "Tears for Johannesburg"
Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone on "Driva Man"
James Schenk – bass on "Driva Man", "Freedom Day", and "Tears for Johannesburg"
Michael Olatunji – congas, vocals on side two
Raymond Mantilla – percussion on side two
Tomas du Vall – percussion on side two
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