SKF NOTE: This 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 Haynes doesn’t have a practice routine per se. He told me he had plans to keep a drum set in his basement. But, sometimes he doesn’t even look at them.
“I leave ’em all the time,” he said. “Constantly. More than I ever did.
“In the last five years or so I play less than I used to. Sometimes I don’t even want to look at them. But, constantly they’re inside. All the time.”
Roy tapped his chest over his heart and said, “Right here, man. You talk about in love! I have it in my heart, man. The heart beat. That’s why your heart beat. That’s the drum!
“I’m drumming while I’m eating. Or, when I’m sitting on a plane flying somewhere. Or, when I’m riding in my car listening to sounds.
“I’m constantly playing. I listen to everything. I listen to sounds. I don’t just make it a point to listen to all drummers. I listen to music.
“What I like to do now,” he said, “I get so tired listening to the supposedly jazz stations. I like to turn on some very relaxed stations and listen to some relaxed stuff.”