Roy’s development of young talent is well documented. The jazz greats that cut their teeth on his watch are plentiful. The adjustments he makes to his ensembles by adding and subtracting musicians keeps things fresh. His latest addition, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, is a great fit in this quartet. Jaleel’s tone is rich. He plays with a sense of calm and urgency that is mirror reflection of two of Roy’s musical traits.
On this particular outing, the quartet opened with a Chick Corea composition entitled "Bud Powell," a dedication to the great pianist from the early days of bebop. Roy was particularly jovial this evening, engaging in conversations with the crowd. He even sang and played a version of "Happy Birthday" for a member of the audience. After a powerful version of the Wayne Shorter composition "Fe Fi Fo Fum," the group reached into the Thelonius Monk library. "Trinkle Twinkle" is a melodic Monk piece that Haynes has recorded several times. Pianist Martin Bejerano’s fantastic solo during this piece was complemented by the solid bass work of John Sullivan. At one point during this tune, the remainder of the band suddenly rested, leaving a wide-open space for Shaw to showcase his abilities.
Both Sullivan and Shaw (soprano this time) offered great solos on the next number, Pat Matheny’s "Question & Answer." The quartet closed the evening with "Summer Night," which included an introductory solo by Roy that was filled with an array of fireworks. Like a fine wine, Roy truly gets better with age. Each time I see him live, he does something beyond what I heard before. Witnessing his genius at least a dozen times, I enjoy his playing more every time I hear him. His vitality and musicianship is unmatched. He is an inspiration to the musicians he plays with and the audience that is fortunate enough to hear him shine.