Louis Hayes

Variety Is the Spice of Life

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Although best known for his work as a valuable sideman, drummer Louis Hayes has led some stimulating sessions of his own through the years. This somewhat obscure but valuable LP is most notable for featuring the unique singer Leon Thomas on "Little Sunflower" and "Nisha" and for giving ample solo space to underrated altoist Frank Strozier, who doubles here on flute. With keyboardist Harold Mabern, bassist Cecil McBee and a couple of percussionists rounding out the group, Hayes leads his band through a diverse set that includes "Stardust," "What's Goin' On," "Invitation" and "My Favorite Things." Excellent, advanced straight-ahead music.