Personnel: Roy Haynes (drums); Frank Stozier (alto saxophone, flute); Ronnie Matthews (piano); Larry Ridley (bass).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 10, 1963. Includes liner notes by Vin Hayes.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Roy Haynes (drums); Frank Strozier (flute, alto saxophone); Frank Strazzeri, Ronnie Mathews (piano).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Recording information: Nj (09/10/1963); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (09/10/1963).
Photographer: Don Schlitten.
In the '60s, Roy Haynes had no problem keeping busy as a sideman/accompanist, but the drummer didn't record an abundance of albums as a leader. Cymbalism, which was recorded in Rudy Van Gelder's legendary New Jersey studio in 1963, is among the albums that Haynes provided for Prestige's New Jazz subsidiary. This session finds the drummer leading an acoustic quartet that includes Frank Strozier on alto sax and flute, Ronnie Mathews on piano, and Larry Ridley on bass -- and together, the musicians provide a hard bop/post-bop album that is fairly unpredictable. Cymbalism gets off to a modal, somewhat John Coltrane-ish start with Strozier's "Modette," one of the tunes that features Strozier on flute instead of alto sax (his main instrument). But a more Charlie Parker-minded approach prevails on the standard "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," which isn't surprising because Bird was among Strozier's primary influences (as was Jackie McLean). Meanwhile, the exuberant "Go 'n' Git It!" doesn't sound like either "Modette" or "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You"; this Mathews number has a funky soul-jazz/boogaloo outlook and wouldn't have been out of place on an organ combo date -- the tune would have been perfect for Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, or "Brother" Jack McDuff. And after "Go 'n' Git It!," Cymbalism changes moods once again with "La Palomeinding," a melancholy Strozier piece that finds him on flute once again. Cymbalism, which Fantasy reissued on CD in 2002 on its Original Jazz Classics imprint, falls short of essential. Nonetheless, it's a pleasing, well-rounded effort that deserves credit for diversity. ~ Alex Henderson