SKF NOTE: This audio excerpt is from my interview with Roy Haynes at his home on November 15, 1978. According to my notes “It was raining, traffic was heavy, a chilly…evening, and I was nervous about meeting him. Roy and I had spoken a few times by phone. The week before [this interview] I saw Roy perform with the bassist and guitarist from his Hip Ensemble, at Sonny’s Place, a small Long Island jazz club in Seaford, NY.
“Roy Haynes is amazing to watch and hear. He sat behind his set of Smokey Vistalite Ludwig drums, eyes closed in relaxed concentration, playing with that precise, crisp sound that earned him the nickname Snap, Crackle, Pop.”
You’re also hearing me as a 27 year-old freelance writer for Modern Drummer. My start as MD‘s managing editor was still three years in the future. MD itself was two years old. At this excerpt opening, Roy says he had forgotten this interview was for a magazine for drummers only.
Roy Haynes was a challenging interview. I suppose Roy might say I was a challenging interviewer. On balance, I am grateful for the opportunity to interview Roy Haynes. And some of Roy’s questions for me, and comments about me, frustrating as they sometimes were, taught me valuable lessons about interviewing.
A couple of points: You’ll hear Roy drumming – on a magazine, I think – sometimes during this clip. Also, the “open forum” we talk about refers to Roy’s performance at Sonny’s Place. The club was loaded with drummers, and Roy gave an impromptu clinic, answering questions from the audience.