Marion Hayden

Straight Ahead in Club Series

Detroit’s own Straight Ahead continued the SEMJA/KCH Club Series on February 20 with a dynamic concert to a full house. They expressed themselves in various ways in numbers ranging from from hard bop to Latin to fusion.

The backbone of the group was made up of Marion Hayden’s solid bass and Gayelynne McKinney’s rock-steady drums; add to that Alina Moor’s percussive piano and any soloist can float on top. A new acquaintance, saxophonist Yancyy, was just right with several soulful solos. Moor’s full chords on an Eddie Palmieri number were in the pocket, and her solo on Harold McKinney’s “Dolphin Dance” was elegant yet to the point. Kymberli Wright’s vocals on Les McCann’s “Compared to What?” were powerful, particularly as she added a chorus about the plight of her hometown (Flint).