Louis Hayes (1960) Vee-Jay


Selection 1: Rip de Boom

Selection 2: Sassy Ann


Louis Hayes (drums) Nat Adderley (cornet) Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone) Barry Harris (piano) Sam Jones (bass)  recorded April 26, 1960 New York City, engineer Bob Fisher, credited with engineering  most of the early ’60s VeeJay jazz titles.

Louis found himself at the tender age of 18 in New York as a member of the great Horace Silver Quintet, playing on Blue Note’s Finger Poppin’ and Blowin’ the Blues Away . He joined Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet/Sextet in 1959 and stayed until 1965. He  is recording here for VeeJay with the Cannonball Adderley 1960 Quintet, with Lateef in for Cannonball .


Solid bop tracks, with Louis getting a few scraps of solo airtime, whilst  Lateef is in an authoritative mood, straight tenor without any of the obscure conches and finger-holed clay pots to whistle through in the following years.

For twenty years, Louis Hayes appears on some of the most swinging groups in all modern jazz sessions, displaying tight-knit harmonic cohesion and hard-driving consistency. Contrast him with the free-swinging angular pyrotechnics of Anthony Williams,  the snap-crackle-pop precision of Roy Haynes, the relentless driving thunder of Art Blakey, and his nearest musical relative, Philly Joe and his relentless backbeat.

Louis is a good driving force. Barry Harris is also a welcome presence, with harmonic grace and excellent compositional skills, and a wicked sense of rhythmic propulsion, (later exemplified by Harris’s  piano-riff in  Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder, instantly conjuring up gyrating girls in shift dresses and beehive hairdos. I do love that album)

Reissued in 1974 by successor company VeeJay International, as Yusef Lateef’s Contemplation. Cruel, Louis Hayes leader erased, dog eat dog world of records. 


For Followers of The Evil Silver Disk

Followers-of-the-evil-silver-disk celebrate

When it came to The Evil Silver Disk™ Vee-Jay International showed some remorse and reinstated Louis to his rightful position, but adding  the  seductive lure of bonus tracks, to sway impressionable young minds away from vinyl goodness towards the digital dark side.

But LJC… it’s got bonus tracks! ”  And a whiff of sulphur. No!  Be-gone!!


Cover-art critique: VeeJay cover vs TESD

A comparison of the original vibrant Vee-Jay cymbal smash and the CD dull static snare drum product shot speaks volumes. A picture of a drum does not visually capture the rhythmic propulsion delivered by the missing drummer’s stick.  The pedestrian CD cover is like a drum manufacturer’s brochure. Worse, the curved 3D typography is straight out of Hollywood B-movies, I Married A Monster From Outer Space. No-one involved had any empathy with the music, just tired formulaic visual clichés. It is worth being reminded how great some original cover art is.

Vinyl: SR 3010 (stereo)

Manufactured by American Record Pressing, Michigan, (ARP) like similar VeeJay titles. This time, the black/rainbow rim/oval logo label indicates first issue, a having become the standard label from 3009 and there being no earlier maroon/script. Much as I enjoyed munching my way through the LJC millinery department, this time I think one is an original. Anyone find an earlier edition, this time I’ll eat my …shorts.



Collector’s Corner

Source:   Lucio’s market stall, Saturday bric-a-brac and antiques market in the Italian/French  border town of Ventimiglia.  Lucio and his delightful wife have a good command of English, unlike my Italian, which apart from prego, grazie and  scusi..is limited to the immortal phrase learned in childhood train travel through Europe,  “E’ Pericoloso Sporgersi”


Whilst I have never forgotten the phrase, I  have never actually found a modern day use for it. European international trains hardly run any more, and the windows on modern jets don’t open, so warning people not to lean out is…sort of redundant. After only a little haggling, (and discussing of the world’s problems, of which Ventimiglia has more than its share)  Euros changed hands for vinyl.

Last weekend I went back again for another dip into Lucio’s jazz box, and secured  a couple of nice US Riverside titles I had never seen before.  This process gave rise to another interesting collector’s dilemma – Do I Already Have This™ ?

Have you been there? The cover looked possibly familiar, but with 1500 records on the shelf back in the UK,  I knew I had one Lenny McBrowne album. Was this it or another? Without my usual database printout or internet access, there was only one thing to do. Comandeering a spot in a busy alfresco pavement café full of Italian locals drinking and smoking (public health, go figure), I ordered a refreshing early morning  birra al spina, and rang my lifeline back in England, Man-in-a-Shed .

Answering the phone, he sounded surprised by the early morning call.

Man-in-a-ShedErr.. where are you?

LJC: “Italy. Are you near a computer…and can you do me a favour?

Barking instructions down a mobile phone to search my own website, and Google, with various spellings,  Man-in-a-Shed embarked an epic online search and returned the requested information, that apparently I had the artist’s Pacific Jazz title, but not the artists  title on Riverside. Result!  Eastern SoundsLenny McBrowne and the Four Souls, US Riverside, subject of a future post.

Isn’t collecting fun?

Perhaps you have some stories to tell.

14 thoughts on “Louis Hayes (1960) Vee-Jay

  1. Hi, I’ve recently bought a record player and started collecting jazz vinyl, your blog played a part in that, thanks! I now have a grand total of five jazz discs and am very much enjoying sitting down with a glass of vino and diggin’ the sounds, no more CDs for me.

    I haven’t amassed many stories yet, I did manage to get hold of a ratty but still playable copy of Dolphy’s Outward Bound for £0.00 from a market stall holder somewhere in East Anglia. Beginners luck I guess!

  2. LJC, you and Man-in-a-Shed should get those walkie-talkies – the kind that bulky men in shades use when they mumble into their collars and instantly, somewhere thousands of miles away, a support team of leggy blonde underwear spokesmodel/forensic scientists are galvanised into ruthlessly efficient action…

  3. My records – after a major clear out and culling and repurposing (or something) a couple of years back – can now be accommodated in a single old IKEA bookcase of four shelves, Nd hence can be kept more or less in my head (it isn’t foolproof by any means, but close).

    Books, however, are another matter. With thousands spread throughout the house and an office elsewhere I now find it increasingly difficult to keep the ‘catalogue’ in my head. But by and large I do. I have a theory that collectors gradually retire their brains (or at least their memories) so that they do retain this kind of information. Oddly enough, probably because I am an old bookseller, I have something of a photographic memory for books (but less so for records): not only can I remember whether I have got the title on concerned, I know whether it’s hardback or pbk, often the publisher, and frequently the cover art… I wish this same facility extended to other areas – my children’s birthdays, paying bills, work….

  4. You can collect records one by one,but there was a time that you could(if you were lucky) collect in large quantities.In the 80’s I got acquinted with a Belgian collector/dealer named Walter de Block.He was the former ownner of a recordshop in Antwerp called Jazzbox.He had a private collection of about 30.000 jazzrecords.I met him after reading an article about him in a Dutch jazz magazine.
    Every room in his house in Brasschaat was loaded with records,and they were all stocked by label and labelnumber.For me this was the first time that I was confronted with so many original Prestiges,Savoy’s,Blue Notes,Contemporary’s,etc.together.Due to a serious hartproblem Walter was forced to sell his records.You could buy them for 300 Bfr.a piece,wich is aprox.10 euro.I visited him once or twice a month (and with me many more collectors,a.o. Rudolf) to buy 50 records.All records were in NM condition,because they were in most cases never played.I found most of my original Blue Notes and Prestiges in this fabulous collection.At that time I didn’t realise that it was a good investment,I just bought them because I loved the music.
    Many years ago Walter died of a heart attack when sending a recordpackage from the local postoffice.One of my scores:

    Louis Hayes Vee Jay LP-3010 (Mono).

    • Kees, those were the days!
      Walter de Block was a very colourful person .I got to know him through his radio broadcasts on jazz for the BRT (the Belgian Radio and TV service – Flemish section. (the jazz broadcasts for the Walloon section – RTB – were were presented by Carlos de Radzitzky, born London 1915).
      The BRT issued a monthly bulletin written by Walter (in Dutch) giving a backup to their programs. E.g. when in the early sixties the Candid label was the topic, it would give a complete label discography and they would dwell on the label for a month.
      When I started to visit Walter in the sixties, his private collection was off-limits. One could not even have a look, because the very subject of a personal collection was taboo. He would only sell from his Jazzbox stocks in the small room left of the main entrance,Jazzbox = his record shop in Antwerp which he had closed.
      He was also buying any jazz record (without looking at condition or pressings) for a fixed price of ten guilders. So I have taken hundreds and hundreds of records from Holland to dump at Walter’s. Good riddance!
      (to be continued)

      • A break because I could not longer resist to listen to my U.K. Vogue version of Cecil Taylor’s “Looking Ahead” (CR, but Tommy Nola engineering), which arrived this morning from England. Of course, first a clean-up before putting this gem on the turntable. Andrew will disapprove, my cleaning is with a damp piece of cloth (an old flannel pyjamas will do), the liquid I use is a mix of alcohol 80% and distilled water).
        cont. WdB.
        Walter de Block was President of the “United Hot Club of Europe”. He issued me a free membership card. I was the first member and he wrote the card number 111. The card gave a 10% reduction on all purchases. My purchases in the sixties were very limited.
        When I came some day in the seventies to dump 10 guilder material he announced me that he had sold his whole collection to a French provincial town for the sum of 650.000 Dutch florins = € 295.000. I believe to remember that the town was Dijon. The sale was subject to approval by the conseil municipal.
        Then began an interesting period for me, knowing he had this enormous collection sold, I asked just to have a look (the first time he allowed me access to the collection.) I duly noticed all these Prestige, Clef, Norgran, EmArcy albums neatly stacked everywhere, also in the garage. Having more or less memorized what was there, and knowing he could not sell any of them, I bluffed and came the next time with a pile of records from my own collection and and suggested if we could do just some exchanges. E.g. I would give an EmArcy/Mercury pressing and I would get the EmArcy drummer label instead, ditto for a N.J. Prestige against a N.Y. one, or Verve MGM against a Clef or Norgran pressing. To my surprise he happily agreed. He was to deliver quantity to Dijon, no first pressings. This went on for over a year, until the sale to Dijon fell through,
        Only then the floodgates were opened, he started to sell his collection piece by piece. I bought mostly French Vogue items (Bobby Jaspar, Fats Sadi, René Thomas, incl. the Swing and Jazz Sélection issues of US material. That was the end for me.

        • There is a certain style – indeed, the word insouciant may very well have been coined to describe it – in cleaning your records on your pyjamas! 🙂 And Looking Ahead is an excellent record.

        • Dijon, eh? I MUSTARDmit that’s a great story – your good fortune to be in the right time and place, and in seizing the initiative. If any of you out there with large collections are feeling a little unwell…call me.

          Record Cleaning Pyjamas, Rudolf? For best results, you must invest in a Pyjama Cleaning Machine. Clean pyjamas each time before wearing, wash three minutes at 60°, then fast spin a minumum of five minutes. Your pyjamas should now sound wonderful. The records will not.

  5. With now over 2500 albums and more than my fair share of embarrassing duplicates being purchased, I have had to resort to buying a cataloguing program and exporting the spreadsheet to my phone. It generally works well except when I make a mistake as to the leader is on a 2-leader set — whether is it Benny Golson or Art Farmer or The Jazztet.

    With respect to interesting collecting stories, inner city Atlanta here in the US where I live doesn’t sound nearly as romantic as Italy, France or Piccadilly Circus, but I do have quite a few stories including being offered many pharmaceutical enhancements to better enjoy my music selections or another situation where the boxes of records I donated to the Salvation Army was offered to me 2 weeks later as “a collection that has been in the family for 40 years”.

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