Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Roy Haynes: ROY-alty

Jeff Tamarkin reviews the latest from the iconic 86-year-old drummer

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Roy Haynes at CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival

You could spend the rest of your days trying to come up with superlatives to describe 86-year-old Roy Haynes, whose résumé virtually doubles as a potted guide to post-war jazz. But while you’d be looking back at all he’s done, Haynes is still firmly planted in the present, a point brought home by the fact that he calls his group the Fountain of Youth Band.

That’s not to imply that the cleverly titled ROY-alty (did it really take this long for him to use that one?) is some kind of hip-hop/jazz hybrid bursting with electronics or any other deliberate attempt to be über-contempo. Haynes doesn’t need that. Instead, the album falls squarely into a well-defined postbop box, and therein Haynes is sharp enough to allow his much younger crew-bassist David Wong, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and pianist Martin Bejerano-to direct the proceedings as often as he calls the shots himself. ROY-alty isn’t so much a showcase for the drummer as the new recording by an exceptional band that just happens to have one of the all-time sticksmen keeping time.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published