Jazz Drummer Roy Brooks Dies at 67

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By Ben Mattison
17 Nov 2005


Jazz drummer Roy Brooks, who performed with many of the leading figures of the hard bop movement, died on November 15 in his hometown of Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Brooks joined pianist Horace Silver's quintet in 1959, replacing his friend Louis Hayes. He remained with the group for five years; later, he played with saxophonist Sonny Stitt, saxophonist Dexter Gordon, and bassist Charles Mingus. He was a founding member of drummer Max Roach's ensemble M'Boom.

In 1976, Brooks returned to Detroit, where he taught and played with local musicians including pianist Geri Allen.  ... [MORE]



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Many years ago during one of my first stints as an MC at the Montreaux Detroit Jazz Fest, Roy's set was running long. The stage manager was tough - he had to be, trying to keep a dozen groups on schedule over the course of a day so we didn't end in the wee hours of the morning. He would hold me by the scruff of the neck at the side of the stage and then literally push me out when he wantd me to go on. When he thought Roy was wrapping up the tune he gave me the push, so that Roy wouldn't launch into another one. Roy saw me coming, mouthed "NO NO NO!!" threw down his mallets, and stormed off the stage. I meekly retreated, and the band shrugged and vamped for some 5 more minutes while the stage manager tried to coax Roy back to the stage for bows. The set ran longer than it would have otherwise and, being the messenger, Roy shot me afterwords. Roy was mercurial but brilliant not only as a performer but as an innovator. His air-pressured drum kit was mind blowing, and the first time I saw him play a saw, my jaw was on my chest long after he ended the performance. He will be missed, but what a wonderful legacy he has left us.11/18/2005 6:42:57 PM
JP
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