Roy Haynes: My Little Suede Shoes

13 Mar

Birthday greetings to drummer Roy Haynes, who celebrates No. 86 today.

The Grammies awarded Haynes a Lifetime Achievement Award this year, to which we can only say: What took so long? Haynes’  lifetime was worthy of it long ago. Haynes is still active, having toured Europe last summer. At age 79 — seven years ago — he recorded an album called: Fountain of Youth, which he embodies (Haynes was but 77 when he performed the above clip of Charlie Parker’s My Little Suede Shoes with an  ensemble of star younger players).

Haynes began performing in his native Boston before the end of World War II — more than 65 years ago. He’s played with many of the greats in jazz since, and some outside of jazz, including Phish keyboardist Page McConnell. Haynes has even sired a succesful jazz musician in cornetist Graham Haynes — yes, he’s played with him, too.

“Roy was 83 when I played with him that night in New York — still vibrant, still a terrific player and as, always, a tremendous ambassador for jazz and all musicians,” wrote McConnell on grammy.com about his 2008 appearance with Haynes.

Haynes thanked his agent during his Grammy acceptance speech last month, then asked if he was there. No response. “I probably don’t have no gigs coming up, or something, ” ad-libbed Haynes, to laughter.

We doubt that.

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