Music Review: Sanctuary
Corner Store Jazz
Cymbals, chimes, and drums. Sticks, fingers, and brushes. These are some of the raw materials that Phil Haynes beautifully crafts into rhythmic poetry on his solo album Sanctuary. The eclectic jazz drummer/pianist takes improvisational risks that pay off on five groups of short percussion pieces that crack open fresh musical ideas ranging from delicate and playful to surprising and sonic.
On songs like “Spirits,” “An Answer,” and “Run, Hide…Frack!” Haynes clearly brings his full attention to the sounds he’s creating through improvisation, or what he calls “composing in real time.” He told S&H, “Instead of playing what you already know, you start having ideas about what has occurred and what might occur. The next thing you know, you’re much deeper in the music.”
The book Zen and The Art of Archery was an early inspiration for Haynes. “It changed everything. I understood the idea of allowing creativity to happen instead of trying to make it happen. That’s very powerful,” he told S&H. “Instead of providing answers, I try to provide better questions and an excitement about what if?”
Haynes recorded Sanctuary in the concert hall where the Berlin Philharmonic performs, an acoustically alive room where every pulse and pause was vividly captured. “It’s always about perspective. I continually challenge myself as a performer, and a spiritual being, to have a new perspective,” said Haynes. “If I only believe in one way, then I’m probably going against nature, since nature seems to try everything. Repeatedly.”