Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Phil Haynes, Sanctuary

Phil Haynes is a drummer-bandleader of stature and creative...brilliance, I think you could say. His latest album, Sanctuary (Corner Store Jazz 0086), is just him, his drum set and a set of percussive found objects.

So this is a solo drums album, an unusual one in its sonically innovative qualities. He embarks on a five-part suite that makes full use of the various ways of sounding the instrument, from sticks to hands to mallets to brushes, the breath, etc. The segments range from the modern abstract to the mystical to the swinging, and all come together as a unified statement.

The entire program hangs together as a series of sonic poems with a sometimes almost-Asian use of space, but also a mastery of new jazz drumming ways and a sense of melodics that comes out of an acute sense of sound colors in alternation.

It holds its own impressively as percussion music as much or more so than drum soloing. And in that way there are new music elements as well as jazz improvisatory attacks.

In the end we get a very creative approach to the art of drumming, a long episodic essay in sound and one of the more important solo drum offerings in this yet young new century of ours.

Haynes is a dynamo of good ideas here. Anyone who appreciates the power and depth to be had from drumming in our times will find this a great example of the percussive arts. Very recommended.

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