ROY HAYNES — Roy-Alty (review)

ROY HAYNES — Roy-Alty album cover Album · 2011 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
Its hard to believe that we still have a living jazz musician whose career started with Lester Young, but the 86 year old Roy Haynes shows no signs of letting up on his latest release, “Roy-alty”. Its also nice that the good folks at the Dreyfuss label decided to record this without any gimmicks or trendy superfluous additives, instead what we get is no-nonsense hard bop recorded pure and live in the studio with no artificial reverb or sweetener of any kind. The recorded sound on Haynes’ drums is excellent, very dry and natural as if you were sitting next to him at a small club, and every nuance of his inventive playing comes through clearly. Roy is not big on flash like many post 70s cats, but instead prods the soloists with subtle poly-rhythms and smart interactions with their rhythmic phrasing.

There’s a nice choice of tunes on here with a couple old classics mixed with some newer material that may be original, but my copy does not have writing credits. A couple tunes feature a small Latin percussion ensemble for that Afro-Cuban/hard bop sound. Another interesting highlight is the cover of “They Call the Wind Mariah” which is done in classic Coltrane style modal drone, but unfortunately fades way too soon. Possibly the biggest treat is the appearance of Chick Corea on two cuts who plays in the pre-70s style of his youth. This is the Corea I remember from my early days of jazz exploration back when he would combine McCoy Tyner’s modalisms with Monk’s quirky dissonances into a bluesier answer to Herbie Hancock’s more neo-classical sensibilities. In the 60s, Corea was destined to be the new ultimate in abstract beatnik cubist hipster pianoisms, but then the 70s led him away from this style for many years.

This is a great CD, classic hard bop with just a little bit of modern sensibility in that they provide enough variety in the ensemble settings so that today’s more attention challenged listener doesn’t fatigue.
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