Roy Haynes | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Roy Haynes 

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Roy Haynes is crisp and exacting, chattering and then explosive, dark followed by ferociously funny. You could say much the same about the way he plays the drums, too. Haynes presents a melodist's view of the trap set, creating truly lyrical drum patterns with which he keeps, colors, and accents the time: isolate on his playing, and you're almost tempted to add words. Marvelously adaptive, and yet a clearly recognizable stylist, Haynes could write a rhythmic encyclopedia of modern jazz history. Charlie Parker and John Coltrane (as several recent Coltrane reissues from the Impulse catalog have made clear) both considered Haynes among their favorite drummers, and he worked with Sarah Vaughan for five years. But he also figures high in the personal percussion pantheons of Thelonious Monk and Gary Burton, two iconoclasts with virtually nothing else in common, and he has left his mark playing both fusion (in the 70s) and free-form trio music with Chick Corea (in the 80s). Some of the post-Marsalis jazz cubs seek to prove the strength of bebop by reiterating its lessons. But as the 67-year-old Haynes unfurls his panorama of wholly modern rhythmic devices--each developed from bebop and retaining bebop's hypersensitive articulation--you hear much greater proof of the idiom's fabled resiliency. His quartet includes pianist David Kikoski, who looks a little like Wayne Gretzky and scores almost as often, and the big-toned saxophonist Craig Handy, who incorporates classic jazz virtues without relying on time travel. Friday through Sunday, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4846.

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