Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones Biography (BBC)

The youngest of three brothers, the others were pianist Hank Jones (born 1918) and cornetist Thad Jones (1923-1986). Elvin became well-known in the Detroit area, accompanying many visiting stars at the Bluebird Club, as a member of Thad's band.

He toured with Charles Mingus and Bud Powell and then moved to New York, where he became one of the most in-demand freelance drummers of all. In the late 1950s, he continued to play with Bud Powell, and with pianist Tommy Flanagan (whom he knew from Detroit days), before joining John Coltrane's quartet in 1960.

He remained with Coltrane, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison until 1965. The group became the leading modern jazz group of the period, Trane's passionate and spiritually inspired playing backed up by McCoy's modal chording and Jones's incredible rhythmic force.

After leaving Coltrane, Jones briefly joined Duke Ellington, worked in Europe and then returned to New York to lead a succession of his own groups. Some of his major sidemen included saxophonists Joe Farrell and George Coleman in due course, his group took the name the Jazz Machine. Jones' intense drum style, full of polyrhythms, has been one of the main elements in defining jazz drumming from the 1960s onwards.

Elvin Jones Biography (Wikipedia)

Elvin Ray Jones (September 9, 1927 – May 18, 2004) was an American jazz drummer of the post-bop era. He showed an interest in drums at a young age, watching the circus bands march by his family's home in Pontiac, Michigan. He served in the United States Army from 1946 to 1949 and subsequently played in a Detroit house band led by Billy Mitchell. He moved to New York City in 1955 and worked as a sideman for Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles, Bud Powell and Miles Davis.

From 1960 to 1966, he was a member of the John Coltrane quartet (along with Jimmy Garrison on bass and McCoy Tyner on piano), a celebrated recording phase, appearing on such albums as A Love Supreme and Live at Birdland. Following his work with Coltrane, Jones led several small groups, some under the name The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. His brothers Hank Jones and Thad Jones were also jazz musicians with whom he recorded. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1995.

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Elvin Jones Performances & Interviews

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