The combination of wisdom and experience enhances anyone’s ability to perform. On a beautiful summer night at the Blue Note in NYC, Roy Haynes displayed those qualities, touching the hearts and souls of the audience with his showmanship and musical abilities.
Accompanied by Jaleel Shaw on sax, David Wong on bass and Martin Bejerano on piano, sublime musicians who have been with Roy for a minimum of nine years, Haynes’ set consisted of “Grand Street,” “We’ll Be Together Again,” “Bemsha Swing,” “Question and Answer” and “Summer Night.” Listening to them play together was a testament to their individual talents, as well as their ability to create a unified sound that was fun to follow and easy to enjoy.
Roy spoke to the audience at the start, mixing in anecdotes about some of the jazz legends he has played with, including Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughn and even the Allman Brothers. Haynes stood up a few more times to talk during the set, but most of the time he let his drums speak for him and showed that being in the moment and committed to the music is ageless. Roy fulfilled his role as the “father of modern jazz drumming,” demonstrating youthful effervescence while showing off his “snap, crack” approach to the drums. At 90, this man has learned how to perform, and still does it passionately.
— Stanley Abraham