Roy Haynes & Fountain of Youth Band, Reginald Robinson | Symphony Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Roy Haynes & Fountain of Youth Band, Reginald Robinson Soundboard Recommended

When: Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m. 2011

It's easy to focus on the fact that drummer Roy Haynes, who turned 86 in March, is one of a dwindling number of living jazz artists active since the inception of bebop. Without hearing a note of his playing, you can tell he's a legend by glancing at a list of the folks he's played and recorded with over the years: Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy. But on his most recent album, this year's Roy-alty (Dreyfus), Haynes breezes right past any attempt you might make to celebrate his history and gets right down to the business of dishing out crackling performances that pulse with the freshness of the present day. Haynes plays with unbridled energy, crispness, and finesse—his vigor is totally undiminished—and the current lineup of his killer band supports and cajoles him expertly. Bassist David Wong, pianist Martin Bejerano, and especially alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw match Haynes's vitality and precision ounce for ounce on a varied program of bebop and postbop numbers, but the drummer is undeniably the man in the driver's seat. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who appears with the band tonight, and pianist Chick Corea both guest on the album, but nobody can upstage Haynes—who nonetheless tastefully refrains from upstaging the music's ebullient swing and generous lyricism with the smiling, charismatic ease of his playing. Living jazz history rarely sounds so alive. —Peter Margasak Reginald Robinson opens.

Price: $26-$86

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