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Louis Hayes Jazz Communicators - Lou's Ideas (American Showplace, 2010)

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Drummer Louis Hayes has one of the strongest hard-bop pedigrees in the music, with lengthy stints in the Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver bands during the 1950's and 60's before striking out to form his own groups. Recently he has been leading the successful Cannonball Legacy Band in addition to his own group which is featured on this album with a nice group of modern mainstream players: Mulgrew Miller on piano, Steve Nelson on vibraphone, Abraham Burton on saxophone and Santi DeBriano on bass. Together they make a fine unit, playing swinging ego-less hard-bop, with everybody playing for the band. The music is a nicely integrated mix of originals like the deftly swinging “Lou's Idea" to jazz and popular standards such as Mal Waldron's “Soul Eyes" which is played with a deeply emotional reverence. Hayes calls his band the Jazz Communicators and it's really true. He plays swinging and accessible music that should reach a wide range of people. Overall, this was an enjoyable disc by a very together unit of musicians. Nelson's vibraphone adds excellent accents to the music and Miller, DeBriano and Haynes form a superb rhythm unit. Definitely something mainstream hard-bop fans should check out. Lou's Idea—amazon.com Send comments to Tim.

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This story appears courtesy of Music and More by Tim Niland.
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