Returning to the leader's chair after a seven-year absence, drummer Roy Haynes signed with Boplicity and released Hip Ensemble in 1971. Named after the group Haynes led at the time -- a group that featured George Adams on saxophone and flute, Marvin Peterson on trumpet, Mervin Bronson on bass, and Carl Schroeder on keys -- the title Hip Ensemble somewhat gives away the game: this is now music, perched halfway between the out futurism that was Haynes' specialty while playing with Archie Shepp, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, and Jack DeJohnette and the fusion that was creeping into the most adventurous aspects of '70s jazz. There are still aspects of pretty, lyrical restraint but the kinetic polyrhythms where Haynes intertwines with percussionists Elwood Johnson and Lawrence Killian provide a lively foundation for the bursts of brass colored by cool electric piano. It all culminates in the nine-minute two-part "You Name It/Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," a civil rights anthem that evokes its era, but the restlessness of Hip Ensemble makes for a compelling session in any year.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine