Elvin Jones

I’m sorry. I’ve slept on Elvin for decades.
As an older and wiser musician who plays differently than I used to 30 years ago, I am getting a better understanding of this legend.
I never got into his playing because I always thought he was sloppy and I never dug his solos.
I recently saw a clip of him on YouTube playing in the early 90’s and he was SMASHING the drums. I mean playing with some fire at a ripe old age. I never understood why so many jazz drummers played as if they were going to hurt the drums.
No, take charge dammit!! You are the engine of the band, not an observer. Stop playing as if you are going to hurt and old lady’s eardrum as she passes the bandstand motioning to lower the volume.
Yes, there is a time to play loud and times to play soft. Dynamics are quite important, but play the drums!!
I’m not into bashers but I like player that know when to hold em and when to fold em…
Elvin was truly a different drummer. He is one of the most unique drummers to play the instrument and one of the more influential of his era.
This clip breaks down how he approaches the instrument. It’s painting with musical colors. His contribution to the art of jazz along with the other giants he played with created some of the most beautiful American art ever made.
I must go back and listen to those Coltrane records again. I’m also going to finish this documentary.
I need to pay attention with 50 year old ears. I think I’ll appreciate his playing more now than I did when I got into jazz in college:




One Reply to “Elvin Jones”

  1. “…When to hold ’em and when to fold ’em…”

    Classic line, Clay-tone!

    Loved the hip hop divorce comments, as well.

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