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by Karl Ackermann
New York/Paris-based Newvelle Records, the vinyl-only subscription label, is well into its second season of six planned releases. The second of these albums is the Kevin Hays and Lionel Loueke duo outing, Hope. Pianist Hays plays with his namesake trio as well as the Bill Stewart Trio and has worked with Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Ron Carter, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, John Scofield, Chris Potter, Brad Mehldau and many others. Lionel Loueke is a Benin native who holds a Jazz ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
The second album from the Kevin Hays New Day Trio does and doesn't follow in its predecessor's footsteps. On one hand you can argue that it's completely different, as Hays doesn't sing on this one and there are no guests to speak of here; on the other, you can certainly opine that the overt lyricism in this music, forged through Hays' fingers and enhanced by the extremely interactive and empathetic team of bassist Rob Jost and drummer Greg Joseph, is ...read more
by George Colligan
[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth]If you aren't familiar with pianist Kevin Hays, you should be. He's recorded and toured with many of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. And those who call him can't seem to get enough of him. His recent projects as a leader on Artistshare have been stunningly beautiful. I've been a fan ever since I came to New York. I heard him with Eddie Henderson's ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
When famed jazz scholar Gunther Schuller first coined the term Thematic Improvisation," he wasn't introducing a new concept so much as shedding light on how jazz artists had come to use the age-old Theme And Variations" format in their own sweet way. While nobody would argue that grand compositional gestures or outré improvisations from a master musician can be revealing, hearing an artist dissect and rebuild a musical theme on the spot is the real window into their mind. A ...read more
by John Barron
Pianist Kevin Hays and long-time collaborators Doug Weiss (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums) explore a set of jazz and pop classics on You've Got a Friend, a well-conceived piano trio affair.
The Carol King-penned title track and Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water" begin the disc with a laid-back gospel vibe, tranquil and unhurried. Hays approaches these pop classics with just the right amount of lyricism, being faithful to the essence of each tune while happily avoiding the temptation to ...read more
by Andrew Rowan
Pianist Kevin Hays came to prominence in New York in the '80s, eventually working with such luminaries as Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and John Scofield, among others. In the '90s, he recorded a well-received series of sessions for Blue Note, including '94's Seventh Sense (one of the New York Times' Top 40 Jazz Releases of the Year ) and '96's Andalucia (which featured Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette). Now, relocated to Santa Fe, New ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
Kevin Hays opens For Heaven's Sake with a bit of solo piano: an introspective, reverent-sounding, church-like interlude. Then bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Bill Stewart slip into the sound and the trio winds into tenor saxophone great Sonny Rollins' Sonny Moon for Two," cranking up the intensity/extroversion factor for five minutes, and Weiss takes a solo in front of Stewart's implacable timekeeping and Hays' spare, sparkling comping. It's a well-chosen, beautifully executed opener for a set of familiar jazz standards. ...read more