During the 50's, 60's and 70's, Louis Hayes was one of the most active and accomplished drummers, playing alongside Yusef Lateef, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Clark, Oscar Peterson and others. Even though he often accompanied artists as a "sideman", Hayes also led on a number of recording projects. One of his most notable recordings as a leader took place at the end of the seventies in 1979, when the drummer recorded and released Variety Is The Spice with a group that included Frank Strozier(alto saxophone & flute), Cecil McBee(bass), Harold Mabern(piano) and a cast of percussionists. This record has an overall soulful modal feel similar to some of the sessions he recorded with pianist Cedar Walton. Another fascinate of the record is the multi-layering of groove-oriented percussion led by Hayes and backed by Titos Sompa (congas) and Portinho. Overall, Variety Is The Spice easily represents one of Hayes' finest moments as a band leader.