Legendary drummer Louis Hayes—who as a sideman has appeared on some of Blue Note Records’ most venerable albums—will celebrate his 80th birthday in 2017. To mark the occasion, Blue Note has announced the release of his label debut as a leader. Serenade For Horace, a tribute to the great pianist and bandleader Horace Silver, will be available on May 26.
As a member of Silver’s quintet from 1956 to 1959, Hayes was first introduced to the jazz world as the driving force on classic Blue Note albums including 6 Pieces Of Silver, Further Explorations, The Stylings Of Silver, Blowin’ The Blues Away and Finger Poppin’. He also appeared on Blue Note albums by Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Clark and others.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 31, 1937, Hayes grew up surrounded by music, first starting his musical studies on piano before his father gave him a set of drums at age 10. After honing his chops in Detroit in the 1950s with the likes of Yusef Lateef and Kenny Burrell, the drummer moved to New York in 1956 at age 19 and joined the Horace Silver Quintet, putting his highly individualized rhythmic stamp on timeless recordings like “Señor Blues,” “Sister Sadie” and “Blowin’ The Blues Away.”
Hayes was a member of Cannonball Adderley’s quintet from 1959 to 1965, and also had a notable stint with Oscar Peterson from 1965 to ’67. He has shared the stage and studio with a great number of jazz titans, including John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner.
Hayes also co-led an influential quintet with Woody Shaw and Junior Cook throughout the 1970s. (Previously unheard recordings of the group were released on The Tour—Volume One on HighNote Records last June.)
Beginning with his self-titled debut for Vee-Jay in 1960, Hayes has recorded a total of 18 albums as a leader. His most recent was 2014’s Return Of The Jazz Communicators on Smoke Sessions Records, which also featured vibraphonist Steve Nelson, saxophonist Abraham Burton, pianist David Bryant and bassist Dezron Douglas.
Hayes will celebrate the launch of Serenade For Horace with a residency at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York, spanning May 29 until his birthday on May 31. For more information, click here. DB