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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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The Island

Explore EXP 0023



1. George's Reggae
2. Brown Skin Girl
3. Green Chimneys
4. Island
5. Anniversary Waltz
6. Mescalito
7. Waltz for Debby
8. If You Ain't Got What You've Got
9. Equipoise
10. Dual Exhaust
Roy Haynes – Drums
George Adams – Tenor sax
Craig Handy – Soprano sax, tenor sax
Graham Haynes – Cornet
Marcus Miller, Cecil McBee – Bass
David Kikoski, Harry Whitaker – Keyboards, piano
Barry Finnerty, Spaceman Patterson - Guitar
Jerry Gonzales, Steve Thornton, Chuggy Carter - Percussion.

It's a bit of a mystery why this album – recorded in 1990 shortly after Roy Haynes's 65th birthday – has only now been released. But we can be grateful for anything from Haynes, as his wide experience and drumming expertise mean that his playing is always worth hearing, whatever the style. In fact the style here is a mixture of jazz-fusion, Latin-American and Caribbean rhythms. The mix of styles is reflected in the mix of musicians – including the daring saxophonist George Adams, the less outrageous bassist Marcus Miller, and even Roy Haynes's son Graham playing the cornet.

The repertoire is equally eclectic, with the West Indian Brown Skin Girl, the Anniversary Waltz given a Latin beat, and Bill Evans's Waltz for Debby performed as a straight jazz swinger. There are also tracks like Mescalito with a strong jazz-rock pulse. Roy's drumming thrusts the music along, aided by three other percussionists. And his solos on such tunes as Green Chimneys and Dual Exhaust have the dynamism we have come to expect from this unique drummer. As the leader, he supplies the stimulation which makes this album almost continuously exciting.

Tony Augarde





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