Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roy Haynes - Roy-alty

Drummer Roy Haynes augments his regular Fountain of Youth Quartet featuring Jaleel Shaw on alto saxophone; Martin Bejerano on piano and David Wong on bass with some special guest spots by pianist Chick Corea and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. The duets with Corea are fascinating to hear; these two men have a long relationship playing together and it really shows on their extraordinary rendition of Thelonious Monk’s “Off Minor” where their affinity for the angularity and uniqueness of Monk’s music shines through. They shift gears completely a little bit later on in the album with the completely improvised “All the Bars are Open” which develops slowly with a melancholy air as the two musicians allow the music to develop in a natural and unhurried manner. Hargrove joins the base quartet on a number of tracks, soloing with great facility and power on “Milestones” and the ballad feature, “These Foolish Things.” The focus is on Haynes and Hargrove on the wonderful version of “Tin Tin Deo” where Haynes scats and gives a spoken word reminiscence of coming up as young jazz musician in the 1940’s, listening to Dizzy Gillespie’s big band with the great percussionist Chano Pozo. They wrap up with a blistering version of McCoy Tyner’s composition “Passion Dance” with superb cascading round of solos and impeccable ensemble playing all around. This was an excellent album, and shows why Roy Haynes has been at the forefront of jazz for as long as he has. From bop to free playing to ballads, everyone is pulling together toward a common goal of making great music and succeeding in grand fashion. Roy-Alty -

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