Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Roy Haynes and Friends: Truly Birds of a Feather


Sign in to view read count
Kimmel Center
Philadelphia, PA
March 23, 2003

Leave it to Roy Haynes to do the unexpected. On the night of March 23, 2003 at the beautiful Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, he sends out the Heath Brothers to play a tribute to Charlie Parker and bebop in general – the tribute he was scheduled to do – and then spends most of the night showcasing the talents of others. No Buddy Rich grandstanding for Mr. Haynes, he let Messrs. McBride, Payton, Garrett, and Kikoski (no it’s not a law firm) show why they are the new breed, destined to become the future elder statesmen of the music we call jazz.

The ever cool, ever stylish Roy Haynes was in his element – I mean his outfit had to be silk – a light cream colored matching shirt and pants that just draped over his looks-like-38-not-78-year-old frame, with slit cuffs sporting buttons up the calf and what had to be alligator shoes (matching of course). He was not to be outdone by the powerfully talented younger men on stage. Every snare hit was crackling, that flat-ride cymbal singing, the crash cymbals washing over you in accents – always perfectly timed – the double floor toms accommodating the syncopated Africa-by-way-of-Boston-by-way-of-New York pounding whose deep dark tones took up residence in your chest and reminded you of the place from whence this music originated.

Roy opened the show by paying his respects to Bird by romping through “Yardbird Suite”. The trading 8’s, then 4’s, then 2’s, then counterpoint between Nicholas Payton and Kenny Garrett was classic bebop – all of it improvised but always tied in to the underlying structure of the tune. (If you weren’t there you can catch this great display of chops on the Haynes CD - Birds of a Feather ). The group then launched into a beautiful rendition of “Star Eyes” – not a Parker tune but clearly one of the great jazz standards as the crowd’s response attested to. Kikoski was brilliant on piano – his colors are amazing and his rhythmic sense matches Roy’s – and that’s saying something. Next up was a tune from Haynes’ Praise CD called “Inner Trust” (the poignant Kikoski intro isn’t on the CD but neither is the Payton improv — that’s why you go to live shows, right?).

From there on out the guys created – and I mean created out of thin air – the most spectacular jazz the rest of the night. I don’t know the names of the rest of the tunes because by then I just got lost in the beauty of Kikoski’s chords, the erupting high-notes of Payton’s Nat-Adderly-like trumpet, Garrett’s Bird-like runs on the alto, and – wow, maybe most of all – McBride’s luxurious, thick bass lines – you felt the low notes in your throat and followed every tone up and down and around the scales. It was just beautiful. We gave them a standing “O” and they came back for one more tune and we gave them another standing “O” and they bowed and left. The true jazzheads, especially the young kids in their high school jackets, long hair, and jeans – did not want to go home because in fact, they were home.

In an unexpected way Roy Haynes did in fact play a tribute to Charlie Parker. By playing jazz in a modern way, in his own style, with the Dizzy, Bird, Bud, and Paul of today, he surprised us all and got to the meaning of what it means to pay tribute to someone you respect and honor. Bird was surely smiling.

Related Article
Roy Haynes 2003 AAJ Interview

Photo Credit
Jimmy Katz and Sputnik


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre" Live Reviews Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Vilnius Mama Jazz  Festival 2017" Live Reviews Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival 2017
by John Sharpe
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center" Live Reviews Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "My Morning Jacket on The Green At Shelburne Museum" Live Reviews My Morning Jacket on The Green At Shelburne Museum
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017