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by Geno Thackara
For some reason, cover songs almost always seem to come across more jokey in folk/bluegrass mode than any other. There's just a certain innate good humor in upbeat romps with acoustic string instruments, especially so when the treatment is applied to formerly loud rock and roll songs. Perhaps it also feels that way because such pieces so often serve as cute one-off novelties in an otherwise straightfoward set. Drummer Phil Haynes and his freewheeling jazz-grass string band" here, on the ...read more
by Jerome Wilson
There have been several jazz projects that looked back at the popular music of the 1960's, but none have been as all-encompassing as what drummer Phil Haynes and his band Free Country do here. They touch on Baby Boomer favorites like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and James Brown, but their sweep of the Sixties is wide enough to also bring in Leonard Bernstein and John Coltrane. This quartet of guitar, cello, bass and drums is extremely flexible in ...read more
by Budd Kopman
Many musicians, at some point, acknowledge a desire that has been building within them --to create music not for anyone else, but for themselves, and, ultimately, by themselves. Obviously, this is easy for pianists, and more difficult for single-line instruments, but now much more common. Drummer/percussionists, especially in jazz, have different problems. First, of course, is the lack of (clear) pitch, relegating percussion (in general) to be but a piece of what many think of as music. Indeed, ...read more
by Dave Wayne
No Fast Food In Concert is rife with all sorts of footnotes and fascinating jazz lineages. But, one can simply enjoy it without being a fact-obsessed music nerd such as me; the first track, a truly pretty-but-not-precious waltz titled Dawn on the Gladys Marie" is evidence enough of the simple universality of great music. There's a certain inevitability about the personnel involved here. Phil Haynes and Drew Gress have played together as members of each others' bands for decades. They've ...read more
by Victor L. Schermer
A jazz trio called No Fast Food" is more likely to appeal to a sophisticated audience rather than attract the legion of average jazz fans, and this album will no doubt appeal to just such serious listeners who will take the time to digest it. Phil Haynes, Dave Liebman, and Drew Gress are seasoned players, all of whom strive for a synthesis of mainstream jazz with rich innovation, while mostly avoiding the free and avant garde connotations. This album, recorded ...read more
by Derek Taylor
Haynes and Robertson are erstwhile leaders on this outing, but a steadfast sense of group administration pervades the entire program. Clarinets play a pivotal role in he music and virtually every bud on the branch of that particular reed family is represented in instrument inventories of Rothenberg and Golia. Paired with the brittle corrugated brass of Robertson the end effect is a very unique frontline. Add to the aggregation the whisper sharp traps work of Haynes and the panoramic bass ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Additional accolades would seem redundant for this improvising crew! On Brooklyn – Berlin drummer Phil Haynes and trumpeter Herb Robertson spearhead a “5tet” featuring multi-reedmen Ned Rothenberg and Vinny Golia along with the always solid bassist Ken Filiano for a set brimming with emotional interplay, temperate themes and cunning improv.
On “Kiss Principle”, Haynes launches the proceedings with a medium-tempo swing pulse via his sweeping brush-work as Rothenberg and Golia performing solely on clarinets here and throughout, inject equal parts ...read more