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Max Roach: A Hurricane on the Drum Set

Jazz drummer Max Roach died this week at the age of 83. He was one of the most accomplished and influential drummers of the 20th century, a master of polyrhythms and unpredictable beats.

He played with other masters, including Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and helped father the style of jazz called Bebop. His innovative way of playing defied expectations and elevated the drums from background instrument to lead.

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Scott Simon
Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.