One of those situations when just about everyone on the album is far better known than the leader. 'Boosted' as if to compensate was nevertheless written by the leader French harmonica player Yvonnick Prené who delivers the head bobbing sharps-and-flats strewn syncopated head riding on the back of a shuffling groove in Bristol fashion.
According to issuing label Sunnyside the piece explaining the name given to it was written by Prené when the wiz ''fell ill after his Covid vaccination booster''. Once again Jeremy Pelt (qv The Heavy Hitters) produces although he's not on this particular track. Wait for the trumpet icon on Listen! selection Victor Feldman-Miles Davis classic 'Seven Steps to Heaven' to go full Pelt into one when the whole album is out in early-2023.
Hays holds the distinction of having appeared on Chris Potter's 1993 released debut as a leader, Presenting Chris Potter. Listen how his piano lines dance around the muted trumpet and sax lines in the deliciously mournful head on 'Uneasy Dreams' never getting in the way but always vital as a navigator. I wonder what, if anything, Potter has in the pipeline to mark this 30th anniversary milestone in 2023.
Much more recently Hays was superb last year on All Things Are.
Renowned John Scofield drummer Bill Stewart (Meant to Be, Hand Jive - mighty with Don Alias behind Larry Goldings seemingly going all Mo Allison 'Parchman Farm'-like on 'Whip the Mule') and bassist Clovis Nicolas complete the rhythm section. Chromatic harmonica however counter intuitively works well as a lead instrument and it's all handsomely recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's.
Get a head get a hat: Yvonnick Prené photo: detail from the cover art. Listen! is out on 20 January