Elvin Jones on Jazz Currents

Mar 26, 2016

We’ve been exploring the careers of the Jones Brothers from Pontiac, Michigan.  We heard from pianist Hank Jones and trumpeter Thad Jones, so our final episode, focuses on the youngest brother - drummer Elvin Jones.

Born in 1927, Elvin Jones began playing drums around Detroit and moved to New York in 1955 where he worked with Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, Miles Davis and others.  He soon was recording with Sonny Rollins, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Art Pepper, J.J. Johnson, as well as his brothers Hank and Thad.

Elvin is probably known best for his work with saxophonist John Coltrane and his classic quartet from the 1960's.  Along with pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison, Coltrane's band stretched the boundaries and changed the sound of jazz forever.  From the first recording of Coltrane's Jazz, to the epic A Love Supreme, and the far-reaching Live in Seattle, Elvin helped to push the quartet to new heights with his intensity, emotion, dynamics and power.

Over the years, Elvin recorded some landmark records with saxophonist Wayne Shorter and appeared on countless others, including many of his own bands.  Elvin Jones passed away in 2004 and had become one of the most highly influential and imitated drummers of all time.

Music In This Episode:

1.      Keepin' Up With The Joneses (Thad Jones) from The Jones Brothers Keepin' Up With The Joneses

2.  Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein II) from Sonny Rollins A Night At The Village Vanguard

3.  Village Blues (John Coltrane) from John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz

4. Love Supreme, Acknowledgement Pt. 1 (John Coltrane) from John Coltrane A Love Supreme

5.  Out Of This World  (Harold Arlen) from John Coltrane Live In Seattle

6.  Witch Hunt (Wayne Shorter) from Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil

7.  Three Card Molly (Elvin Jones) from Elvin Jones Jazz Machine The Truth: Heard Live At The BlueNote