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Roy Haynes: Snap Crackle

Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes in 1985
Roy Haynes in 1968, recording Jack DeJohnette's debut, "The DeJohnette Complex"
Roy Haynes with son Graham in 1978
Roy Haynes in 1956
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes

Roy Haynes is slightly surprised by the comment. Of course there’s an erotic charge in the way he plays drums. “I’ve been noticing in the last 10 or 15 years, a lot of ladies come up after my performances,” he says. “Some of them say they never heard a drummer play like that.”

Youthful swagger and confidence still comes easily to the man who hit 80 this past March. Haynes talks it, walks it and wears it. His fashion sense, like his crisp and energetic drum work, has been part of his signature for decades-bassist Al McKibbon didn’t dub him “Snap Crackle” for nothing. “He’s the most stylish person in the room, at all times,” says Jeff “Tain” Watts. “He’s been that way for a long time. I read this stuff about him being in Esquire magazine back in the ’60s. Yeah-‘Snap Crackle,’ that says a lot.”

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Originally Published

Ashley Kahn

Ashley Kahn is a Grammy-winning American music historian, journalist, producer, and professor. He teaches at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music, and has written books on two legendary recordings—Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and A Love Supreme by John Coltrane—as well as one book on a legendary record label: The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. He also co-authored the Carlos Santana autobiography The Universal Tone, and edited Rolling Stone: The Seventies, a 70-essay overview of that pivotal decade.