Louis Hayes


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Taken from a live performance of the short-lived Louis Hayes-Junior Cook Quintet, this recording features some fine hard bop. The two horns are trumpeter Woody Shaw and tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, who are complemented by a fine rhythm section headed by drummer Louis Hayes. Shaw is in good form, and one of the joys of this album is the chance to hear Shaw as a sideman in the mid-'70s in a hard bop context not unlike his own small groups. Cook plays well, and he stretches on each piece, although his solos are not remarkable in any way. Hayes takes the customary drums solos to which he is entitled as a leader, and proves once again his solid feel for the genre. The limited recording time (under forty minutes) is a shame since the group is such a pleasure to hear. The music retains its excitement years after it was recorded, a tribute to both the choice of tunes and the quality of playing. The other members of group are pianist Ronnie Matthews, bassist Stafford James, and percussionist Guilherme Franco, each of whom makes adequate, though hardly distinguished, contributions.

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