Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Louis HAYES Group - Variety Is The Spice 1979

The Louis HAYES Group - Variety Is The Spice 1979


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.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
An incredibly soulful album -- vastly overlooked, but one of our favorites of the 70s! The set is one of the few ever cut as a leader by drummer Louis Haynes -- a wonderful player who's best known for his classic work with Horace silver -- but who's working here with a superb group of his own, one that includes Frank Strozier on flute and alto, Harold Mabern on piano, and Cecil McBee on bass. All players are completely wonderful -- especially the team of Strozier and Mabern, who work here with the soulful power of their best pairings from the time. And an added bonus to the set is vocalist Leon Thomas, who guest stars on two great tracks -- "Little Sunflower" and "Nisha" -- and delivers some of his only good work of the late 70s! The album's got a version of Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower" that's worth the price of the record alone, as it's one of of Thomas' best recordings ever, and an essential chapter in his career. Other tracks include "What's Going On", "Kelly Colors", and "Nisha".
From Dusty Groove.
Louis Hayes- Drums
Frank Strozier- Alto Sax, Flute
Harold Mabern- Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano
Cecil McBee- Bass
Portinho- Percussion
Titos Sompa- Congas
Leon Thomas- Vocal
A1. Kelly Colors 6:40
A2. Little Sunflower 7:12
       Vocals - Leon Thomas
A3. Stardust 5:11
A4. Whats Goin On 6:00
B1. Invitation 7:01
B2. Nisha 5:38
       Vocals - Leon Thomas
B3. My Favorite Things 
B4. Dance With Me 4:41
B5. A Hundred Million Miracles 

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