Jazz Drum Legend, Louis Hayes to visit the Vermont Jazz Center
The Vermont Jazz Center is proud to present the legendary drummer, Louis Hayes in concert with his New York-based Quartet on Saturday, November 17th at 8:00 PM. Hayes will appear with his Jason Curry, alto sax, Sharp Radway, piano and Alex Claffey, bass. Louis Hayes was the drumming pulse behind some of jazz’s greatest luminaries including John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver and the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. From his mentorship at an early age with Papa Jo Jones through his stellar career, there is no drummer on the scene today who can boast such a star-studded résumé. At 75, Hayes continues to lead his own hard-swinging ensembles in which he mentors young jazz artists.
Hayes’ sound came to maturity during the height of hardbop in the late 1950s and early 1960s while the sophisticated, lyrical language of bebop was morphing to convey a more earthy message utilizing forms derived from R & B and the Church. The music Hayes played in Cannonball Adderley’s groups typifies that sound: This Here, Work Song, Mercy Mercy, and others are groove oriented, soulful tunes that share elements with Gospel and the black popular music of the time. Hayes’ contribution to Cannonball’s band is undeniable – he provided a strong grooving beat, yet he wasn’t showy. His drumming provides a steady, yet driving cushion for the soloist to play over yet demands little interaction. Hard swinging, yes, but the style called for the drummer to set the groove for the soloist to integrate rather than dialogue with. The drummer’s function during this era, and Hayes is a superb example of this, is to assert the tempo, the feel and the form while providing energy to the music.
One of Hayes’ particular strengths is his spry drumming on fast tempos: Hayes, could burn with the best! For example, his playing on Joe Henderson’s The Kicker, shows a complete mastery of bright tempos while crisply laying out a clear demarcation of the form. For an example of his fabulous ability to set up a melody listen to Horace Silver’s delightful, classic composition, Sister Sadie. Hayes’ impact could at first be considered subtle, but when listened to closely, especially during the “shout” chorus after the piano solo, it becomes apparent that his drumming is both crucial and brilliantly necessary in setting up the form and making the performance so uplifting.
Another positive trait of Louis Hayes is reminiscent of another hardbop legend, Art Blakey. Hayes often prefers to use young, thirsty and driven musicians to fill out his ensembles. This creates a win-win situation for both the leader and the side-musicians. Given Hayes’ stature and respect, he gets to cherry-pick from the finest young musicians he hears. They in turn get to work with a true master, to connect directly with the lineage. The receive a first-hand lesson in jazz history, but they also learn about repertoire, commitment, discipline and decorum. Meanwhile, Hayes’ gets his music infused with youthful energy and talent and can draw from ideas and stylistic innovations that can only be gleaned from the upcoming generation
The concert Louis Hayes will be performing at the VJC is no exception. He will be performing with a group of young, rising stars including Jason Curry on alto saxophone. Curry has performed with the Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, and Cab Colloway Orchestras, Valery Ponomarev, Myron Walden, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Duane Eubanks, Jimmy Smith, Mark Whitfield, Russell Malone, Kenny Washington, Winard Harper, Rufus Reid, 'The Temptations', Al Green, and the hip-hop group Digital Underground. The pianist in the group is Sharp Radway. Sharp is a product of the church who continues to serve as minister of music for his home-town congregation. He has worked and/or recorded with are Bucky Pizzarelli, Yusef Lateef, Benny Golson, Greg Tardy, Red Holloway, Peewee Ellis, Javon Jackson, Rene McLean, Curtis Fuller, Benny Powell, Fred Wesley, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Frank Lacy, Diane Schuur, Joe Lee Wilson, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Carla Cook, Kevin Mahogany, Nnenna Freelon, James Spaulding, Vincent Herring, Louis Hayes, Leopoldo Fleming, Candido, Russell Gunn, Ben Dixon, Ted Curson, Nicolas Payton, Duane Eubanks, and Winard Harper to name a few. He has also appeared in film with Mos Def, Beyonce Knowles and others. Holding down the acoustic bass is Alex Claffey, a young wiz from Philadelphia who grew up surrounded by music (both his parents are professional musicians). Now completing his studies at the New School, he currently works with such notable jazz artists as Orrin Evans, Duane and Kevin Eubanks, Ralph Peterson, Kenwood Dennard, George Burton and many others.
This concert is sponsored by our good friend and long-time patron, Dave Ellis, president of Ellis Music Company, Inc. a music resource for instrument sales and rentals for the entire state of Vermont and beyond. Thanks to Ellis Music, students from local high schools can get free tickets from their band directors. This concert is also sponsored by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts. Special thanks to the Hampton Inn for providing lodging for all of our guests this entire season and to VPR and WFCR for their continued support.
General admission to hear the Louis Hayes Quartet on November 17th is $20.00, $15.00 for students with valid ID. Purchase tickets online at www.vtjazz.org, at In the Moment, downtown Brattleboro, or call the VJC ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. This concert is handicapped accessible, but please call in advance (802 – 254 - 9088) if someone in your party will require the use of an elevator.
Purchase your tickets early. It is anticipated that this exciting concert will sell out quickly!
Vt Jazz Center