What makes a drum solo melodic?
Max is widely credited as being the first melodic drum soloist. One question that I often get after people hear Max's soloing is, "How is that melodic"? I think that this is actually a really good question, and goes to the heart of what this blog is all about.
Using the architecture and phrasing of a melody
Unlike the last post about Ari Hoenig where the answer to the question is absolutely clear, since Ari literally plays the melody note for note, Max doesn't usually play melodically in this sense. Instead what he does is use the architecture and phrasing of a melody instrument to create tension and release in his solo. For example "For Big Sid" from "Drums Unlimited":