Louis Hayes Quintet: Quintessential Lou (2000)
The band gets to the matters at hand in a flurry on the opener and pianist James Williams’ composition titled, “Progress Report” as the musicians trade punishing fours atop Hayes rangy yet thoroughly propelling attack. Joe Zawinul’s “Mystified” is a melodic ballad, featuring the drummer’s sharp implementation of rimshots, Latin rhythms and altogether peppery support as the soloists exchange lushly melodic lines yet adhere to the context of the main themes without losing sight of the existing compositional framework. Here, the band performs smooth lines augmented by an up-front yet quietly powerful mode of execution. Tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton displays a corpulent full-bodied tone to compliment his fluid and at times Trane-ish lines on the classic, “Tenderly” as the band evolves this gem into a mid-tempo swing led by Riley Mullins’ radiant phrasing and David Hazeltine’s colorful articulations. On Kenny Drew’s composition, “Lions Den”, the musicians perform within the traditional hard-bop vein while also pursuing an airy outlook as Burton and Riley once again exhibit strong attributes as a front-line horn section while Hayes’ masterful sense of swing and polyrhythmic attack is nothing short of awe-inspiring. - Young drummers out there take note! Listen to Hayes jab and spar while maintaining the constant flow yet rarely if ever diminishing any notions of momentum via his swiftly swinging work on the ride and hi-hat cymbals.
In summary, the musicians are in top form under Hayes’ leadership as Quintessential Lou is a welcome edition to Hayes’ already impressive discography as a leader and session musician. Be kind to yourself and check out this latest release by a proven master who generally surrounds himself with his young peers!
Track Listing: 1. Progress Report 2. Clarence's Place 3. Mystified 4. Tenderly 5. Decision 6. Lions Den 7. Alter Ego 8. That's the Thing 9. Our Quiet Place 10. Interlude
Record Label: TCB Music