Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band Featuring Pat Metheny at the Blue Note

Koby Hayon By

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Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band Featuring Pat Metheny
Blue Note
New York, NY
March 13, 2016

Jazz luminary Roy Haynes has forever captivated audiences with his innovative playing and his concert (and 91st birthday celebration) on March 13th, at New York City's Blue Note was no different.

The drummer, staying true to his eccentric and incessantly youthful style, began the evening by eliciting the audience to join him in singing "The Gambler," made famous by Kenny Rogers. Even turning 91 can't slow this seasoned pro down.

A pioneer of modern jazz, Haynes began his career among other prominent artists such as Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, whom he played with. His fresh ideas and uncluttered swing led him to play with jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Chick Corea among many others. So when long time collaborator, and renowned guitarist Pat Metheny joined Haynes on stage, we knew this would truly be an evening to remember.

Haynes, accompanied by his appropriately named Fountain of Youth band, began their part of the concert with Pat Metheny's "James." The composer himself then quietly took the stage next to his long time colleague and friend. The two have collaborated since the 70s on many projects ranging from recording many of Metheny's pieces or Gary Burton's Like Minds to performing together on numerous tours.

From the first down beat, the chemistry, musicianship, and mutual respect between these two greats was apparent. The group went on to play few standards from the Great American Songbook such as Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," Matt Dennis's "Everything Happens To Me," Monk's "Green Chimneys" and concluded with Metheny's title track from his 1989 masterpiece album they recorded together, Question And Answer.

Although these two giants of jazz commanded the attention of the audience, Haynes' ensemble did not go unnoticed. Fountain of Youth is made up of three musicians young enough to be his grandchildren (Jaleel Shaw, alto and soprano sax; Martin Bejerano, piano; David Wong, bass). They played with charisma and tastefully supported Haynes and Metheny.

As the end of the concert and the hippest birthday party in town was drawing near, Metheny hugged Haynes as a surprise cake was rolled out and the band played their most traditional and straight tune of the night, Happy Birthday. And just like his precise playing, Roy Haynes was perfectly in time, blowing his candles right on the cut off.


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