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Roy Haynes

By Published: March 19, 2003
RH: I'll have with me at the Blue Note - helping to celebrate my birthday - Joshua Redman. There was an article in the Village Voice once, where they were asking different artists who they thought was impressive during that last year, and they had a photo of me in it, with quotes from Joshua Redman. When I read the things Joshua had said, it actually brought tears to my eyes. We had played together in Europe with Pat Metheny and Chick Corea when we had the Remembering Bud Powell band. You never know what influence people are getting from you. I learn more about myself - thing's I didn't realize. Maybe something you see about my playing - or something you see in me - that I don't know about. I'm just going along; just moving. There's no telling what may happen next'Sometimes I meet somebody in a store who's read a little about me, and I'll say, "Why don't you come to the performance tonight. You might get something out of it. If you get a feeling within yourself about what's going on, that's a start." I had a lady once in Chicago standing in the lobby as people [were] leaving, and she said that listening to my music reminded her of the four seasons. That got to me, and I knew she had to be somebody. That's how I try to play - a little of this and a little of that.

AAJ: The list of celebrity musicians you've played with is almost endless - Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis. What did it feel like in diners, on the road, in buses?

RH: You can't even really say what it was like. At one point, Coltrane was just another musician in the club, not even realizing that he was going to develop into what he did. He was a rather good friend musician. We're all just human beings trying to play the music. I became part of that, and I've been very fortunate to live this long and to play and innovate...It's important not to do the vices. Don't even overdue eating. I don't know if that has anything to do with my living to be 78, but moderation's important. A little exercise, too. What advice do I tell my grandson? I listen to him.

Photo Credit
Jimmy Katz and Sputnik

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