A superior hard bop drummer best known for supporting soloists rather than taking the spotlight himself, Louis Hayes led a band in Detroit as a teenager and was with Yusef Lateef during 1955-1956.
He had three notable associations: Horace Silver's Quintet (1956-1959), the Cannonball Adderley Quintet (1959-1965), and the Oscar Peterson Trio (1965-1967). Hayes often teamed up with bassist Sam Jones, both with Adderley and Peterson and in freelance settings. He led a variety of groups during the 1970s, including quintets co-led by Junior Cook and Woody Shaw, and appeared on many records through the years with everyone from John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor to McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, and Dexter Gordon. He started leading his own sessions beginning in the '70s, including 1974's Breath of Life, 1977's Real Thing, and 1979's Ichi-Ban. Other well-received albums followed, including 1983's Colour, 1989's Una Max, 1994's Blue Lou, and 1996's Louis at Large. Hayes continued to stay busy in the 2000s, releasing albums like 2002's Dreamin' of Cannonball and 2009's Time Keeper. On his 2017 Blue Note album, Serenade for Horace, Hayes paid tribute to his friend and former boss the late pianist Horace Silver. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi