How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This is the sort of expansive collection that in years past could have only been issued by the Smithsonian. This is not to say that this three-CD (plus one DVD) boxed set is a relic. It simply documents the legendary career of the drummer whose recorded output commenced in 1949 and continues to this day, a musical life that, by virtue of a lot of talent and a little good fortune, began with the Lester Young band and never paused to look back.
Charlie Parker. Bud Powell. Miles Davis. Sonny Rollins. Thelonious Monk. Eric Dolphy. Stan Getz. John Coltrane. Haynes played with all of them and all are represented in this compilation drawn from the catalogues of Savoy, Prestige, Blue Note, Verve, Impulse and more, recounting a thrilling and impressive history of jazz.
From Lester's swing and the bebop of "Bouncin' With Bud" and Bird's "My Little Suede Shoes" to pairs of tunes from Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan and Oliver Nelson's influential "Stolen Moments," Disc One shows how bop exited the '40s and hardened through the '50s, reaching the free jazz precipice in the early '60s.
Disc Two covers the years 1963-1998 and offers the harmonic challenges of Jackie McLean's "Esoteric" from Destination Out, "Black Fire" from Andrew Hill's Blue Note leader debut and two tracks from the classic John Coltrane Quartet, when Haynes held Elvin Jones' spot: the seminal "After the Rain" and an extended workout on "My Favorite Things" from Newport in 1963. In an interview that forms the bulk of the bonus DVD, Haynes is at his most eloquent and moving on the subject of playing with Coltrane and how his work with the saxophonist represents the apex of his career.
Disc Three focuses on Haynes output as a leader from 1970 to today with his Hip Ensembles. Having previously led a sterling piano trio (anchored by Phineas Newborn) and a quartet featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Tommy Flanagan and Henry Grimes on the classic Out in the Afternoon, Haynes' bands touched on fusion before veering back to a more straight-ahead style that has championed the skills of a younger generation of players such as David Sanchez, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett and Marcus Strickland.
Through it all, Haynes has remained a driving force, growing into the role of elder statesman and earning his nickname "Snap Crackle" with distinctively shimmering cymbal work, a crisp snare and vital inventiveness all over his drum kit. It's hard to imagine a more useful, unifying and exciting primer for a person just getting interested in jazz music, especially with aspirations toward being a drummer.
Track Listing: CD1: Ding Dong - Lester Young; Bouncin' With Bud - Bud Powell; My Little Suede Shoes - Charlie Parker; Morpheus - Miles Davis; Down - Miles Davis; I Know - Sonny Rollins; I'll Walk Alone - Charlie Parker; Two Brothers - Nat Adderley; Shulie-A-Bop - Sarah Vaughan; How High The Moon - Sarah Vaughan; Reflection - Roy Haynes; Rhythm-A-Ning - Thelonious Monk Quartet; Don't Go To Strangers - Etta Jones; Green Dolphin Street - Eric Dolphy; I'm Late, I'm Late - Stan Getz; Stolen Moments - Oliver Nelson; Long Wharf - Roy Haynes. CD2: Snap Crackle - Roy Haynes; Esoteric - Jackie McLean; After The Rain - John Coltrane; Black Fire - Andrew Hill; Poppa Daddy and Me - Jack DeJohnette; Matrix - Chick Corea; Transfiguration - Alice Coltrane; Little Peace in C for U - Stephane Grappelli & Michel Petrucciani; Question and Answer - Burton/Metheny/Corea/Holland/Haynes; My Favorite Things - John Coltrane. CD3: James; Equipoise; After Sunrise; My Heart Belongs To Daddy; Vistalite; Water Children; Brown Skin Girl; Greensleeves; Hippidy Hop (Drum Solo); Segment.
Personnel: Roy Haynes: drums; additional personnel.