Recorded at Systems II, Brooklyn, New York from May 3-5, 1998. Includes liner notes by Ken Micallef, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Dave Kikoski and Joshua Redman.
As one of the reigning elder statesmen of jazz, Roy Haynes has his pick of the finest sidemen in the world. His assembled entourage for PRAISE is an ensemble worthy of Haynes' unequaled strengths as a drummer and bandleader. The horn line for the tracks that feature the entire group include the young titans David Sanchez (tenor), Kenny Garret (alto) and Graham Haynes (flugelhorn/cornet). Surrounding himself with rhythm section-mates Dwayne Burno (bass), David Kikoski (piano) and Daniel Moreno (percussion), Haynes is in full stride in what some would call the twilight of his years. Those that say that, however, would only need to listen to this master's powerful drumming to realize their error.
Opening with Chick Corea's "Mirror Mirror," Haynes directs his charges with a bouncing waltz beat that jabs and twists through the twirling progressions. The Middle Eastern-flavored "After Sunrise" follows with hypnotic chanting that leads into a mid-tempo groove charms the listener like a snake. Standards such as the swinging "Israel" and the pretty ballad "The Touch Of Your Lips" make familiar platforms for Haynes and his younger counterparts to jump into some exceptionally creative interplay. Of special note, the Haynes/Garrett duo on Bird's "My Little Suede Shoes" is stunning, to say the least. Other Standout tracks include the smooth trio groove of McCoy Tyner's "Blues On The Corner" and Haynes' melodic solo spot "Shades Of Senegal."