Percussive Arts Society

Roy Haynes by Wayne Salzmann II

Roy Haynes Playlist

At 97 years old, Roy Haynes is perhaps the only living musician to have played with Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and dozens of other legends in jazz music. He has recorded over 600 albums, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, has been inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame, and received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, among many other astonishing accolades. His crisp drumming style and sound is instantly recognizable and earned him the nickname “Snap-Crackle.” This playlist highlights some of the most exceptionally swinging tunes, intricate improvisations, and practically telepathic musical communication that was recorded during Haynes’ 70-year drumming career.

“In Walked Bud”
Thelonious Monk, Misterioso – Live at the Five Spot (1958)
In a live recording where the audible audience can be distracting, Roy plays incredibly musically and takes a solo where he essentially plays the melody on the drums.

“Sugar Ray”
Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
Haynes co-leads this hard swinging trio, and this tune features a bluesy melody and creative timekeeping while maintaining a steady medium tempo. The solo section features quintessential hard-bop style time and comping from Haynes followed by a beautifully stated drum solo before the return of the head out.

“Sneakin’ Around”
Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
This track features an iconic Roy Haynes intro, integrated playing during the melody, and includes some very clear, tasteful, and melodic drum trades before the head out.

“Our Delight”
Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
This entire record is a masterclass in trio playing. This track is no exception, featuring a brisk tempo, interactive comping, trades between the band, and a masterful drum solo.

Sonny Stitt, Sonny Side of Stitt (1960)
This is a very straight-ahead tune where Roy plays in a subdued, swinging style. The comping and time-keeping on this track is a great example of simple accompaniment without overplaying.

“Hoe Down”
Oliver Nelson, Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)
This track is a playful “call and response” style tune. The arrangement features the drums as an almost orchestral arrangement integrated into the melody. The solo section features crisp, interactive comping, and forward motion from the rhythm section.

“Snap Crackle”
Roy Haynes Quartet, Out of the Arernoon (1962)
Certainly one of the most memorable drum intros of all time, this melody features orchestrated drum parts rather than traditional timekeeping. The time in the solos is swinging and straight-ahead for the most part. Haynes takes a chops-heavy solo over a walking bass line on this track.

“Moon Ray”
Roy Haynes Quartet, Out of the Afternoon (1962)
One of his many great albums as a leader, this track bounces between a “two-feel” and swinging feel in four, and has an exceptional hook up between the ride cymbal and bass. Roy’s solo on this tune is over a walking bass line which gives it a very melodic vibe.

“My Favorite Things” (Live)
John Coltrane, Newport ’63 (1963)
This rendition of the classic song maintains incredible energy and interaction for nearly 18 minutes. This recording offers great examples of how to play in three, and is recorded in a way that the snare drum comping is easy to hear.

“Smoke Stack”
Andrew Hill, Smoke Stack (1963)
This piece features a classic intro by Haynes and is one of the more “out” examples on this playlist. The band abandons traditional timekeeping and formal structure and is playing in a much more “free” style.

Chick Corea, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (1968)
Set at a blazingly fast tempo, this piece features classic examples of Roy’s “broken time” feel, and features incredible 12- bar trades between Haynes and Corea.

“Question and Answer”
Pat Metheny, Question and Answer (1990)
This tune features a “rolling triplet” time feel in three from Haynes. He floats between traditional 3/4 swing and a dotted-quarter-note pulse throughout, and continually varies the triplet comping in new and interesting ways.

“Yardbird Suite”
Roy Haynes, Birds of a Feather (2001)
This album is a tribute to Charlie Parker and features his compositions. Haynes plays some blistering breaks in the intro. This recording is a great example of Roy’s dynamic contrast between light cymbal playing and all-out cracks on the drums. His “broken-time” feel is on full display throughout the track, and he plays some killer trades with the band before the head out.

Wayne SalzmannWayne Salzmann II is a drummer, educator, composer, and author who spent 12 years on the Jazz Faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to extensive touring and six studio albums with Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson, Salzmann has performed/recorded with Steve Miller, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Cross, Joe Satriani, Mike Stern, Robben Ford, Chris Potter, Dick Oatts, Bob Schneider, UT Jazz Faculty, and the San Antonio Symphony, among others. He is a member of the PAS Drum Set Committee and teaches online and in person from his private studio in central Wisconsin. For more information, visit

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