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Roy Haynes at the J&R Music Festival

New York's City Hall Park sits at the top of the Canyon of Heroes, site of historic ticker-tape parades celebrating the ends of wars, astronauts coming home from the moon, and the Giants winning the Super Bowl. Today's hero ricochets rhythms off tall buildings and leads his Fountain of Youth Band — one master and three comparative newcomers who are having the professional experience of their dreams.

The veteran is Roy Haynes. The youths include saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, who also plays with the Mingus Big Band. Shaw graduated from Berklee College and Manhattan School of Music, and made the finals of the Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition. Pianist Martin Bejerano is from Miami, won third place in the 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute, and has his own 2007 album: Evolution/Revolution. Bassist David Wong studied with Ron Carter, graduated from the Juilliard School, played with Wynton Marsalis' quartet, and teaches at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Lester Young, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny... Since the late 1940s, Roy Haynes has worked and recorded with all these giants. At the drums, he sounds engaged, energetic, and precise, creating that Roy Haynes sound on every drum and cymbal in his set. He's exemplary in his timing, tunefulness, and constant creative chatter and flow. He gets up and dances, stick in hand, thwacking the drum stands, the chair itself — no object is off-limits.

CREDITS

Thanks to Sue Bryan and Bob Huber from J&R Music, producers of the annual August Festival. Also, thanks to broadcast producer Josh Jackson, emcee Monifa Brown, operations manager Brian McCabe, crew members Spencer Graves and David Tallacksen, recording truck provider Aurasonic Ltd and Steve Remote. Our technical director and music mixer is Duke Markos. Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner at KUNV Jazz 91.5 in Las Vegas. Our producer is Becca Pulliam with executive producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, N.J., and wbgo.org.

Copyright 2008 WBGO