20 ene. 2009

They are doing something great over at WKCR in NYC, which you can get streaming over the net: a Roy Haynes festival of about 5 gadzillion hours. Unfortunately I only noticed this morning, so I'll only hear that last few days of it--during waking hours. From the 1940s to the current decade, that's parts of SEVEN decades of music making. And I say parts of because there's nothing from earliest part of the 40s, and the current decade is not yet completed. Even rounding down to sixty years, it's an impressive span of time to be at the top of your game, where Roy still is. Even if Roy is not your number one guy on the drum throne, there's plenty of good music even without focusing on the drummer per se: such as, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker...

I'm a big fan of excess like this. A couple hundred hours in a row playing the entire discography of Roy Haynes? Fine by me. It makes me feel almost normal (as the guy reading 9,000 books of poetry). It's easy to be in a good mood after getting rid of Presidente Arbusto after 8 years of shameful abjection. Obama... and Roy Haynes too!

Even if RH is not your main guy, you can't really see him as markedly inferior to any other player in any context. If he sat in for Elvin in Coltrane's quartet, as he did, the results are still going to be great--or if he sat in for Max Roach with a Parker quintet--the same thing holds. He's just about the best drummer for Chick Corea or Pat Matheny too.