Roy Haynes Quartet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Roy Haynes Quartet


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Roy Haynes is crisp and exacting, chattering and then explosive, dark followed by ferociously funny. You could describe his drumming in much the same way. Haynes started out during bebop's infancy--Charlie Parker considered Haynes one of his favorite drummers--but he's traveled a wide variety of musical paths since. (How many others could have supplied the beat for such divergent leaders as Thelonious Monk in the 50s, John Coltrane in the 60s, and Gary Burton after that?) While the young jazz lions--the kiddie corps who currently rule the jazz roost--seek to prove the strength of bebop by replanting its seeds and reiterating its lessons, the 69-year-old Haynes does a much better job of proving bop's fabled resiliency. He does this by adapting the idiom's virtues to each new context in which he performs, riding herd on a panorama of wholly modern rhythmic devices--all of them derived from bebop and retaining bebop's hypersensitive articulation. Haynes offers a melodist's view of the trap set, creating truly lyrical drum patterns with which he not only keeps but also colors and accents the time--another thoroughly contemporary approach--so it's no wonder that he has attracted a steady stream of bright young players to his circle. This time through, the quartet stars altoist Donald Harrison--who, in terms of his laconic musical temperament, carries the flame of Johnny Hodges--and a former Betty Carter pianist, Darrell Grant, who scored surprise accolades with last year's Black Art, an intriguing showcase for his dynaflow solos and turbocharged compositions. Tuesday through next Sunday, August 13, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4846.

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