Roy Haynes: James




Roy Haynes (drums)


Te Vou! (Dreyfus 36569-2)

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Roy Haynes (drums), Pat Metheny (guitar), Donald Harrison (alto sax), Christian McBride (bass),

Dave Kikoski (piano)


Composed by Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays


Recorded: New York, 1994


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Since Roy Haynes and Pat Metheny had joined together (in a trio with Dave Holland) for the captivating Question and Answer (1989), their reunion for the drummer's Te Vou! CD only a few years later was another welcome event. Add to the mix the versatile and polished altoist Donald Harrison, formidable young bassist Christian McBride, and Haynes's adept regular pianist Dave Kikoski, and the result was among Haynes's best recordings as a leader. Metheny brought along four of his compositions, including the delightful "James," which he and Lyle Mays wrote for James Taylor and that first appeared on the guitarist's revered Offramp (1981).

Haynes's intricate and masterfully coherent intro to "James" sets up the alto/guitar treatment of the dancing, playful theme, with its folksy charm and intoxicating bridge. The tune actually possesses the quirky logic and rhythmic freshness of a John Scofield piece. Harrison solos first, his invitingly sweet tone a perfect fit for his refined thematic variations. Metheny is more abstract and convoluted, and certain tumbling staccato phrases and clever unanticipated note placements attest to his individuality and creative genius. Kikoski's pleasing solo seems to be inspired by Keith Jarrett. All the while, the then 69-years- young Haynes is fully of the moment, on high alert and keenly responsive to every nuance, phrase and direction chosen by the other players.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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