Roy Haynes Quartet – Out of the Afternoon – Impulse!/Verve/Universal/Analog Productions Stereo-only SACD CIPJ12SA, 37.4 min. [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:
(Tommy Flanagan, piano; Roland Kirk, reeds; Henry Grimes, bass; Roy Haynes, drums)
This classic 1962 Van Gelder session for Impulse was another winner among the many recordings stellar drummer Haynes has been involved in – and he was stilly playing (at least a few years ago). Haynes brought some new tricks to his highly expressive jazz drumming, including a more prominent use of the cymbals. He would sometimes seem to be playing the melody as much as the more melodic instruments in the band. Haynes’ son and grandson are both drummers, and he was named by Esquire as one of the Best-Dressed Men in America in 1960.
The seven tracks here are about divided between clever treatments of standards and originals – three by Haynes himself. Besides the uniquely musical drumming of Haynes, the other star here is the phenomenal blind multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk. On some of the tracks he plays tenor sax, manzello, strich, C flute, nose flute, and sometimes the first three reeds all simultaneously. Yet it’s not just a gimmick – Kirk gets some fantastic sounds out of these weird reeds! The chords he creates with the multi instruments are something to hear – entirely original. On Haynes’ signature “Snap Crackle” Kirk briefly solos on two flutes at once.
This album has been reissued many different ways, including on vinyl. While I didn’t have the vinyl at hand to compare, this stereo SACD is first rate – being a special mastering effort on the part of the Acoustic Sounds people. The players are solidly placed on the stereo soundstage and with great depth and air around them. And the music is creative without becoming the least bit inaccessible – a terrific album right up there with the best of them. And Stanley Dance’s extensive notes from the original release are all in the note booklet.
TrackList: Moon Ray, Fly Me to the Moon, Raoul, Snap Crackle, If I Should Lose You, Long Wharf, Some Other Spring
— John Henry