Max Roach, along with Art Blakey one of the foremost drummers in modern jazz, died early today after a long illness, aged 83. There is a full obituary here. He was one of the pioneers of bop in the forties, and in a long career embraced everything from free jazz to hip hop. His finest moment was probably the seven song We Insist! Freedom Now Suite – a groundbreaking post-bop concept album dealing with African-American history from slavery to the civil rights moment, and which featured veteran sax man Coleman Hawkins and lyrics by poet Oscar Brown Jr.