What legendary drummer has played with all these jazz masters: Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan and John Coltrane? The answer, of course is Roy Haynes! Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on March 13, 1925, Haynes arrived in New York at the onset of the bebop era and quickly began working with such swing era notables as Luis Russell. He played with the innovative Lester Young for two years and was then heard frequently with Powell and Bird.
Haynes recalls an engagement with Parker's quintet in the early 1950s at the famed Café Society in New York's Greenwich Village. "We played opposite the great pianist Art Tatum and Bird was really inspired," Haynes reminisces. "What a thrilling period! I looked forward to going to work every night." During the late 50s, Roy performed with Monk and Trane. In the turbulent 60s, Haynes was Trane's first-call replacement drummer (in place of another Yamaha Drums Artist Elvin Jones) and his work can be found on "Newport 63" on Impulse Records. Haynes received a Grammy Award in 1988 for his "Blues for Coltrane" album-a tribute to the late saxophonist-that featured David Murray and McCoy Tyner. Also during that decade, Haynes recorded with Stan Getz ("Focus").
Later came memorable collaborations with Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. Amongst all these partnerships, Haynes has always been a leader. In the late 1960s, he called his band the "Hip Ensemble," a bebop-turned-jazz-rock group and recorded under the Mainstream label. The mere strength of the body of his work has won Haynes ample kudos over the years. A recent accolade includes the Danish Jazz Center's "Jazzpar Award," dubbed the jazz world's Nobel Prize. He was also inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in honor of his exceptional contributions to the art form.
The drummer maintains a light performing schedule these days, usually traveling for three weeks at a time, then returning to his home on Long Island to relax. Roy Haynes is a human dynamo on his instrument. The sheer force and swirling sound he generates is absolutely mesmerizing! Peter Watrous, in a review of Roy in the New York Times, called him, "one of jazz's great drummers, enormously responsive and interactive." His most recent best-selling Dreyfus Jazz CD is entitled, "Praise," featuring Kenny Garrett.
Yamaha is proud to have Roy as a part of our family.