Louis Hayes

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Louis Hayes
Hayes in 1971
Background information
Born (1937-05-31)May 31, 1937
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1950s–present
Associated acts Cannonball Adderley, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver

Louis Hayes (born May 31, 1937, Detroit, Michigan) is an American jazz drummer.[1]


His father played drums and piano and his mother the piano. He refers to the early influence of hearing jazz, especially hearing big bands on the radio. His main influence was Philly Joe Jones and he was mentored by Papa Joe Jones.

When he was a teenager, he led a band in Detroit. He worked with Yusef Lateef and Curtis Fuller from 1955 to 1956. His three most notable associations are Horace Silver's Quintet (1956–1959), the Cannonball Adderley Quintet (1959–1965), and the Oscar Peterson Trio (1965–1967). Hayes often joined Sam Jones, both with Adderley and Peterson, and in freelance settings.

Hayes led a group at clubs in Detroit before he was 16. He moved to New York in August 1956 to replace Art Taylor in the Horace Silver Quintet and in 1959 joined the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, with which he remained until mid-1965, when he succeeded Ed Thigpen in the Oscar Peterson Trio. He left Peterson in 1967 and formed a series of groups, which he led alone or with others; among his sidemen were Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, and James Spaulding. He returned to Peterson in 1971.

The Louis Hayes Sextet, which he formed in 1972, became in 1975 the Louis Hayes-Junior Cook Quintet and the Woody Shaw-Louis Hayes Quintet (Cook remained as a sideman until Rene McLean joined); in its last form the quintet played successful engagements throughout Europe and (without McLean) acted as the host group when, in 1976, Dexter Gordon visited the U.S. for the first time in many years. After Shaw left the group in 1977, Hayes continued to lead it as a hard-bop quintet.

From the 1970s onward, he led a variety of groups including a quintet co-led by Junior Cook and Woody Shaw. Hayes has appeared on many records throughout the years, and played with John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Timmons, Hank Mobley, Booker Little, Tommy Flanagan, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Gary Bartz, and Tony Williams. He also led sessions for Vee-Jay (1960), Timeless (1976), Muse (1977), Candid (1989), Steeplechase (1989–1994), and TCB (2000–2002).

He was with McCoy Tyner's trio for over three years. Since 1989 he has led his own band, and together with Vincent Herring formed the Cannonball Legacy Band.


As leader[edit]

  • Louis Hayes (Vee-Jay, 1960)
  • Breath of Life (Muse, 1974)
  • Ichi-Ban (Timeless, 1976)
  • The Real Thing (Muse, 1977)
  • Variety Is the Spice (Gryphon, 1979)
  • Light and Lively (SteepleChase, 1989)
  • The Crawl (Candid, 1989)
  • Una Max (SteepleChase, 1989)
  • Nightfall (SteepleChase, 1991)
  • Blue Lou (SteepleChase, 1993)
  • The Super Quartet (Timeless, 1994)
  • Louis at Large (Sharp Nine, 1996)
  • Quintessential Lou (TCB, 2000)
  • The Candy Man (TCB, 2001)
  • Dreamin' of Cannonball (TCB, 2002)
  • Maximum Firepower (Savant, 2006)
  • Return of the Jazz Communicators (Smoke Sessions, 2014)[2]

As sideman[edit]

With Cannonball Adderley

With Nat Adderley

With Gene Ammons

With Kenny Burrell

With James Clay

With Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon

With John Coltrane

With Richard Davis

With Kenny Drew

With Victor Feldman

With Curtis Fuller

With Terry Gibbs

With Dexter Gordon

With Bennie Green

With Grant Green

With Barry Harris

With Joe Henderson

With Johnny Hodges

With Freddie Hubbard

With J. J. Johnson

With Sam Jones

With Clifford Jordan

With Yusef Lateef

With Johnny Lytle

With Jackie McLean

With Phineas Newborn, Jr.

With Freddie Redd

With Woody Shaw

With Horace Silver

With Sonny Stitt

  • 12! (Muse, 1972)

With Idrees Sulieman

  • Roots (New Jazz, 1958) with the Prestige All Stars

With McCoy Tyner

With Cedar Walton

With Roosevelt Wardell

  • The Revelation (Prestige, 1960)

With Phil Woods

With The Young Lions

With Joe Zawinul

With Rein de Graaff