22 ene. 2009

It's curious that in the 11-day Roy Haynes festival there has been little mention of any specific stylistic characteristics of his playing. Granted, I heard very little, in terms of percentage, of the program, since I had to teach and sleep and otherwise be away from the computer, but what little talk there was shied away from anything technical. Like: How do you know it's him, how would you identify him in a blind-fold test? Phil Schaap talks a lot, it's true, but he tends to concentrate on discographical issues.

In terms of timbre, I think its the crackly snare, the crispness of the hi hats, the contrast between the generally clean ride sound and the occasional crashes. (Roy often uses a flat ride, with no bell.) Toms are a little "twangy." In rhythmic terms, there's a kind of exuberant jaggedness and the ability to create longer, coherent comping phrases. He can be quiet busy, marking accents with emphasis, but he isn't too loud.

If any lesser drummers played patterns as seemingly irregular as he does, it would totally throw off the rest of the band. He is very confident and sure handed when he goes into some metric modulation thing, like right now I am hearing him do. I'd say he is more precise than Elvin in his poly-rhythms.

In contrast to Max Roach, I'd say he's less "square" and more rounded. He's really quite close to Tony Williams or Jack DeJohnette, who belong to one generation younger. He's more advanced stylistically that Blakey, Roach, Klack, or Philly Joe. He's outlived almost everyone else that is comparable on the instrument, except DeJohnette. He rivals or maybe even surpasses DeJohnette in stylistic flexibility, the ability to play in any musical context.

6 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

Don't get me wrong; I love Haynes and think he is fantastic, too. But would Haynes be as ready to play in duets with John Surman?

That was the DeJohnette project that immediately crossed my mind as I read that last sentence.

Jonathan dijo...

Haynes has played in avant-garde contexts, like with Archie Shepp. I honestly can't know whether he would like to play with Surnam, whose music I don't know. The specific contexts I had in mind for Haynes include:

Classic bebop; accompanying Sarah Vaughan in the 50s; hard bop; early avant-garde (trane); fusion and funk; Archie Shepp; Chick Corea...

I'm sure if we put Jack in a time machine he'd do fine with Sarah or Bird too!

Andrew Shields dijo...

I once heard a splendid Betty Carter version of "All Or Nothing At All" with Holland on bass and DeJohnette on drums. Don't remember the album, though. It was from the early 90s, I think.

Herb Levy dijo...

That version of "All or Nothing at All" is from Feed the Fire, a wonderful album & one of the few that Carter made as a mature singer with a band of equals rather than (very very good) journeyman musicians. Besides Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, Geri Allen plays piano.

But All or Nothing at All is irrelevant to this discussion here because DeJohnette isn't playing. It's a duet by Carter and Holland or, as Carter introduces him to the live British audience, "England's own Dave Holland."

Andrew Shields dijo...

Herb, now that you mention it, I remember that it was just vocals and bass! A stunning performance.

Jay dijo...

I've heard Haynes' style described as "snap, crackle, pop" -- presumably referring to the crisp and unpredictable accents. On the whole, it's not too far off. (And I'm looking for Feed the Fire.)