Originally released in Japan on producer Yasohachi Itoh's 88 label, Columbia has licensed several titles from the audiophile label, including this one from veteran hard bop/new thing drummer Roy Haynes. Love Letters gathers an all-star roster, including pianists Kenny Barron and David Kikoski, bassists Dave Holland and Christian McBride, tenor player Joshua Redman, and guitarist John Scofield for a thoroughly solid set of standards. Even as he approaches his eighth decade, Haynes continues to display the drive that has made him an in-demand timekeeper since his tenure with Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. It's evident throughout the entire album, from the rock-ist suggestions of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" to the poignant take on Horace Silver's "Que Pasa." All of the groupings have their shining moments, but Haynes with Holland and Scofield is a combination that demands to be documented further. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Wade Kergan