June 17, 2024

Ben and Leo Sidran

Roy Haynes
Love Letters
(???? – 2003)
by John Thompson

Roy Haynes, drummer extraordinaire. Been there, done that. From the birth of Bop to the present, Haynes is getting it done. One hell of a lineup featuring Kenny Barron(p) Dave Holland(b), Christian McBride(b), Joshua Redmond(ts), John Scofield(g), and David Kikoski(p).

This release opens with “The Best Thing For You”, a bop tune, with nice solos from McBride, Barron and Redmond. Track two, “That Old Feeling”, contrasts the bass sounds of McBride (track one, in attack mode) and veteran Holland(artfully treating his solo), while Haynes presents nice brush work. “Afro Blue” is performed as a trio, with Holland and Scofield, as Haynes’ solo demonstrates a nice use of cymbals and other drum techniques. Horace Silver’s “Que Pasa” is present, with showcases by Redmond, Barron and McBride(kicking some serious butt) and Haynes tossing around rhythmic emphasis.

“My Shining Hour” is a nice bop-swing tune, as McBride kicks again. Benny Goodman’s “Stompin’ At The Savoy” is performed with a respectful swing, as Haynes pushes the groove and Barron shows why he has persevered for over 30 years in the Jazz field. “Shades Of Senegal 2 is a brilliant solo performance by Haynes, who produces some wonderful texture, at times sounding like Billy Cobham on a smaller trap set.

While there are no major fireworks present, this is a well done CD. 31/2 stars.

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