One of the most gifted musicians in jazz history, Max Roach helped establish a new vocabulary for jazz drummers during the bebop era and beyond. He shifted the rhythmic focus from the bass drum to the ride cymbal, a move that gave drummers more freedom. He told a complete story, varying pitch, tuning, patterns, and volume. He was a brilliant brush player, and could push, redirect, or break up the beat. In 1948 he participated in Miles Davis' seminal Birth of the Cool sessions before forming his own quintet with iconic bop trumpeter Clifford Brown.