Joel Haynes is a wonderful drummer, a great accompanist, always in the pocket when in support of a singer, he can swing with grace and provide drive and creative force for a trio as displayed on the tracks of his premier release, The Time Is Now. Haynes has another great quality, he leads by thrusting his band mates to the forefront where he has captured on this recording, marvelous performances from Tilden Webb on piano and Jodi Proznick on acoustic bass. The recording is a mix of original compositions by pianist Webb and bassist Proznick as well as some classics, beautiful renditions of Lennon and McCartney’s, "Blackbird" and "Georgia (on my mind)" a Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael composition that features an impassioned vocal performance by Denzal Sinclaire.
The liner notes indicate that the recording is in tribute to Joel Haynes’ mother whom passed away five years previous. As Haynes recounts, "I saw the film Ray and was reminded of my mother, as Georgia had always been her favorite song. I felt the need to record this song and complete a CD in memory of my mom." The recording has not only captured some marvelous group and personal performances, but also projects a love of life, music and tradition. The title track and opener "The Time Is Now" a Webb composition, is a perfect set up for what is to come, inspired, innovative and exciting playing by the ensemble.
The recording The Time Is Now is comprised of ten songs, Haynes as leader, has picked all of the songs and he has done an admirable job. The CD flows smoothly from beginning to end. There are highlight tunes, such as "Summer Night" composed by Dubbin and Warren, the high energy, fully charged "Manteca" by Gillespie and Fuller and the closer "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" by Herbie Hancock featuring Tilden Webb on Fender Rhodes, a song picked in tribute for Haynes’ children. My suggestion, go pick up this CD, The Time Is Now, it really is. Yes an excellent record.