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Louis Hayes Treats with a Serenade for Horace

Serenade for Horace - Louis Hayes


Serenade for Horace – Louis Hayes


This morning I was looking over the Jazz Charts at the Roots Music Reports. There were several albums on the chart by artists who I am unfamiliar with that I want to check out. But the album at number two was the one that first caught my attention. It’s title is Serenade for Horace by jazz drummer Louis Hayes.  Now two things combine here to make this album interesting to me. First, I know little about Louis Hayes. Now I’ve become familiar with Horace Silver’s music over the last few years. The reason is that many times when I listened to jazz on the radio, a song would come on that caught my attention. So I’d look to see who it was and many times it was Horace Silver!! Anyway when I saw the name Horace Silver I knew I would probably like the album. Guess what, I was right!!

About Louis Hayes

Louis HayesSerenade for Horace is actually, the 80-year old Louis Hayes’ (born May 31, 1937)  debut album on Blue Note as a leader. I say as a leader because in 1956 Louis moved from his hometown of Detroit to New York City. When he arrived in New York he joined the Horace Silver Quintet and became an intricate part of a group that produced such great Blue Note recordings like “Señor Blues,” “Sister Sadie,” and “Blowin’ the Blues Away.”

From the Horace Silver Quintet, Louis moved on to join Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet where he stayed until 1965. From 1965 to 1967 he was a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio  In 1972 The Louis Hayes Sextet was formed. That band subsequently became  the Louis Hayes-Junior Cook Quintet and the Woody Shaw-Louis Hayes Quintet. Since 1989 he has led his own band, and together with Vincent Herring formed the Cannonball Legacy Band.

Throughout the years Louis Hayes has also played with……

…..John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Timmons, Hank Mobley, Booker Little, Tommy Flanagan, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Gary Bartz, and Tony Williams. He also led sessions for Vee-Jay (1960), Timeless (1976), Muse (1977), Candid (1989), Steeplechase (1989–1994), and TCB (2000–2002).Louis says te following about Serenade for Horace – More at Wikipeia

About Serenade for Horace


Serenade for Horace is composed of ten classic Horace Silver tracks and a new original “Hastings Street”, which is dedicated to Silver’s hometown – Detroit. Hayes is joined on the album by other members of the Jazz Communicator. Members include: bassist Dezron Douglas who-produced the album with Blue Note Records President Don Was, with  Maxine Gordon acting as executive producer,Steve Nelson, pianist David Bryant, tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton, and trumpeter Josh Evans.

Louis says this about the album…

“I wanted to do this recording for Horace Silver because I wanted jazz fans to hear his music and I wanted to honor his memory,” writes Hayes in the album’s liner notes. “Horace and I always stayed in touch ever since I first worked with him. When he got to the point where he wasn’t feeling too well, I went to see him and one day he said to me ‘Louis, you’re a part of my history.’ I thought about what that meant and I began thinking about how to take Horace’s music and his legacy into the future.”

Bottom Line

Louis Hayes done his former boss proud on Serenade for Horace! This is definitely a strong 4.5 star album for me. In true hard bop fashion each of the band members get a chance to shine on the album. Right now as  type those post I’m listening to “Summer in Central Park” I just heard a nice Josh Evans trumpet solo, followed by Steve Nelson on vibes and now the piano of David Bryant. It doesn’t get much better! I heard a great Louis Hayes drum solo on “St. Vitus Dane” Just great hard bop so Check It Out!!! I’m finishing up to the Horace Silver classic “Señor Blues”.

Links for the Further Exploration of the Music of Louis Hayes

Artist’s Website
Blue Note Records

So how about a short playlist with those three tracks I mentioned earlier….