Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Roy Haynes Quartet

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If 64-year-old Roy Haynes sounds rejuvenated these days, you might be tempted to blame it on his youths. Haynes has surrounded himself with players less than half his age, and logic suggests that it must be their influence that makes him sound so fresh; the evidence of one's ears, however, suggests that the primary source of this band's bubbling energy is the older gentleman sitting behind the traps. Haynes is worth marveling at. His crisp tempi, sterling kit sound, punchy accompaniment phrases, and sunburst solos toss the music up in the air and keep it spinning from set's start to finish. His youth brigade includes David Kikoski, a limber and sparkling pianist, and bassist Chip Jackson, with a big tone and very quick ears; out front is the occasionally powerful, sometimes stolid saxist Craig Handy. The quartet kicks off Joe Segal's annual Charlie Parker Month celebration at the Jazz Showcase, which is fitting: Haynes, who played with Parker from 1949 to 1952, was reportedly Bird's favorite drummer. But to gauge the length of his career and the depth of his versatility, consider the fact that Haynes's most recent album is with a trio led by Pat Metheny--on which he sounds great. Tuesday through next Sunday, August 5, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4300.

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