Roy Haynes: Sippin' at Bells


Sippin' at Bells


Roy Haynes (drums)


The Roy Haynes Trio featuring Danilo Perez and John Patitucci (Verve 543534)

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Roy Haynes (drums), Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass).

Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: live at Scullers, Boston, MA, September 9-10, 1999


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

This trio record, a half-studio, half-live date in which Roy Haynes dedicates each tune to one of his favorite past musical partners, began the self-revitalizing, career-reflecting period of Roy Haynes's career. Most importantly, it asserted that Haynes's drumming had not deteriorated with age. In fact, the electricity heard throughout the live half of this album reveals some of Haynes's finest playing ever recorded while in his mid 70s! It therefore comes as no surprise that his longstanding current band, formed slightly after this '99 date, is called the Fountain of Youth. If anyone has discovered that mythical spring, Roy Haynes has.

Danilo Perez and John Patitucci, who have since gone on to form half of the Wayne Shorter quartet, connect skillfully throughout this disc, weaving in and out of brief, open solo segments, while always leaving enough space for Haynes's drumming to remain front and center. Their quick reaction time, combined with a willingness to playfully engage in Haynes's every leading stroke, leads to exhilarating rhythmic improvisation.

Of special note here are the extended fours between Patitucci and Haynes that begin directly after the statement of the Miles Davis melody. Check out the two Haynes breaks starting at 1:20 and 1:42, respectively. In the first, he plays his trademark groupings of threes, broken up between his hands and left foot. Nine measures into the 12-measure break, he begins his run of threes again this time shifted a beat back in time so the placement isn't where you expect it until he reestablishes the beat at the very end. The second break has it all: Latin-influenced rhythms, rapid-fire 16th notes, and four final measures where he flips his rhythm between the downbeats and upbeats and then flips those rhythms between his hands and his feet!

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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