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Phil Haynes — Sanctuary
(Corner Store Jazz CSJ-0086, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-06-21

Sanctuary Cover art

Haynes is a drummer and composer, primarily known as a sideman, featured on dozens and dozens of jazz releases over the years, and in addition is the leader of No Fast Food, a saxophone trio with Dave Liebman and bassist Drew Gress, and the “jazz-grass” string ensemble Free Country, with four releases to their credit, but Sanctuary is his first true solo release. While the 27 pieces here that make up the hour-long set are said to be composed, to a listener these may seem more like free solo improvisations, wandering about freely mostly on the drum kit, with some cool and unusual percussive sounds mixed in here and there. This is not an excercize in rhythm; for the most part there are no steady rhythms or conventional ‘drum solos’ to be found anywhere, although most of the sounds are from a standard drum kit, they are not necessarily played in a standard way – one can hear numerous places where he’s hitting the sides of a drum instead of, or in addition to, the drum heads, or scraping or bowing drumheads and cymbals. The key thing to remember here is that most of these short pieces are completely free, punctuated with quiet vibrations and minimalist ideals, far away from what one might find in any standard jazz context. Avant-garde it is, but not abrasive; it’s completely listenable, and an interesting and adventurous journey to boot, though with that said, it may be primarily of interest to drummers and percussionists.

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Phil Haynes

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