November 2012 Archives

By Louis Erlanger

Louis Erlanger is a professional guitarist and software designer, and hosts two music radio shows: After Hours on WOOL 100.1 FM in Bellows Falls Vermont, Sundays from 8-10 PM EST, streaming at, and Blue Monday on WVEW 107.7 FM in Brattleboro, Vermont, Mondays from 6-8 PM EST, streaming at Podcasts of interviews from his radio shows can be heard on his website, His software company website is


photo by Kelly Fletcher

When I was in my twenties I played guitar with a Japanese blues singer named Toru Oki. Toru was well-known in Japan and this enabled him to hire a large revue to back him up. One of the sax players in that revue was Gerald Hayes, brother of jazz drummer Louis Hayes. Gerald was a great player, but he stood out as much for his relentless sense of humor that kept the band laughing between shows.

I mention this because meeting him was the beginning of my musical investigation into Louis Hayes. I'd heard Louis' name mentioned on countless jazz radio shows, but it wasn't until meeting Gerald that I started checking out LP liner notes, where I learned of all the great people Louis accompanied - Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Phil Woods, Kenny Burrell, and more. I also learned that Hayes was a protégé of Papa Jo Jones, a magician of a drummer whom I was lucky enough to see almost every week at the West End Bar on upper Broadway in New York City, across the street from my college dormitory. So I got into Louis Hayes. I saw Louis play once before I knew much about him, but I haven't seen him live since. That is why when I saw his name on the 2012-2013 Vermont Jazz Center schedule I was excited.

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