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Transitions by Joel Haynes Trio + Seamus Blake

Drummer Joe Haynes is a dynamic, controlling presence in this excellent new CD, Transitions. He inspires his trio, helping shape their solos with appropriate flourishes, driving his fellow players to greater heights and, as well, creatively trading bars and soloing himself. He uses his kit to full advantage, sticks in perpetual motion on up tempo numbers, constantly striking cymbals for punctuation.

Haynes has worked with these musicians since the nineties when they were all college students in Canada. On this date with the trio-Jodi Proznick on bass and Tilden Webb on piano-he brings in compatriot Seamus Blake to add his formidable presence on tenor sax. The recording, Haynes’s second, was made live at The Cellar in Vancouver, and audience’s enthusiasm is palpable.

Blake particularly excels with his passionate solos. On the funky "Champagne Supernova," machine-gun like, he goes up and down the scales, firing off a fusillade of notes. On the Coltrane-inspired "Impress Me" his fiery turn erupts, leading to a volcanic finish by Haynes’ drums.

The foundation laid down by pianist Webb and bassist Proznick are essential to the album’s success, binding each number, providing a solid framework for solists. In fact, all spark one another-the essence of the jazz process.

The cut, "Always There," exemplifies this cohesive quality. Webb’s ’s piano backing Blake, pushing his solo and lifting it to lyrical heights, a McCoy Tyner to Blake’s Coltrane. All the while Proznick’s steady bass and Haynes’s virtuosic drumming are pleasures to also focus on.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joel Haynes Trio + Seamus Blake
  • CD Title: Transitions
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Cellar Live
  • Rating: Four Stars
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