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Live Reviews

Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band

By Published: April 10, 2011
The Fountain of Youth band proved its freedom of style in addition to harmony. A rendition of Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum" was played more hard-bop than post-bop, Haynes accenting the melody with strong hits, and giving each "bang" and "crack" time to cool off and resound. Keeping with the soulful interpretation, Bejerano peppered his solo with bluesy accents, while Haynes gave him all the support he needed to make Shorter's tricky chord changes sound as natural and effortless as possible. Most of the pieces ended with a brief epilogue by Haynes, extrapolating as much from the tops, shells and undersides of his drum set as possible, keeping his "Snap Crackle" nickname alive and well.

Haynes then called two songs written by his living collaborator, guitarist Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
. On "James," the musicians opted to play around the tune's joyous melody, preserving its integrity. "Question and Answer," one of Metheny's more involved compositions, gave each member more to work with. The dramatic, lyrical waltz was traversed by Shaw's soprano, with the fire of early '60s John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
. Bejerano and Shaw punctuated the modal sections with yearning, way inside playing, and harmonically breezed their way through the more complicated sections. Haynes clearly admired the melody's 4/4 over 3/4 technique, and took every opportunity to imply it, almost playing an entire A section in 4/4.

Throughout the show, Haynes maintained a strong stage presence, and established a question-and-answer rapport with the audience, playing Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Green Chimneys," per a request from the crowd. Bejarano's approach to Monk was appropriately spiky, but as is the obligation of all pianists playing Monk, did not merely imitate the legendary pianist's signature style, preferring a rounded out, flowing touch. The set ended with Charlie Chaplin and Al Jolson
Al Jolson
1885 - 1950
vocalist
's standard, "Anniversary Song," with Haynes, at various points, getting up from his drum set and asking for audience participation—either clapping or singing. In any other context, these would have seemed like the gestures in which a wedding DJ might indulge; however, when backed by the ferocious prowess of Haynes and his band, what could have been the hokey attributes of a DJ-for-hire became the affirmation of this drum icon's sprightly disposition: a fountain of youth, fit to overflow.


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