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R.I.P. Elvin Jones

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This is from the Modern Drummer website. Not much, but little more info. (I thought he was older than 76 for some reason) :


[/i]'It is with great sadness that we announce that Elvin Jones has passed away on Tuesday, May 18 at 2:46 p.m. eastern time in New York. He was 76 years young. Please take a moment to pause and remember this very special person.


There is no further information available at this time regarding funeral services or memorials. As soon as we know any details we'll be sure to pass them along.


Modern Drummer is presently writing an In Memoriam tribute to this great man which will appear in a future issue of the magazine and on this Web site.

Super 8


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He was one of my favs. Anybody remember that lame sham drum duel between Elvin Jones and Ginger Baker? It apparently was all for show.


I've seen Elvin Jones about 6 or 7 times live. I joined him backstage once when a mutal friend, Frank Kofsky, a noted jazz journalist and author of "Black Nationaism and the revolution in music" introduced me to him. Keystone Korner in the late 70s. He was gracious and spent time talking to me when he certainly didn't have to. He was exhausted from playing a grueling set.


To me Coltrane never sounded as good as he did when Elvin was playing with him. They'd do duets even the band was playing. He was known as an "octopus" for the independence of his limbs. Polyrhythms before polyrhythms were a thing. The whole Coltrane concept was something that appeared to be sprung full bore from Mars. Each musician had eked out a unique role in creating a brand new music. And between Elvin, Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, you can't really say which one was more important. I'm not talking about Coltrane, who created that sound, but when the elements hang to together, whose role is more important. Everything hung around Elvin. Everything else was enveloped by his sound; his ryhthm. McCoy punctuated and outlined with his modal and chromatic 4th chords - opening up the "harmonies" and destroying our common reference points. They're all still there, it's just with an entirely different and new point of view. And Coltrane skyrocketing into the stratosphere with sheets of sound and emotional commitment while Jimmy Garrison holds down the fort on bass. One of the most amazing quartets in jazz history and Elvin was one of it's masters.



All the best,


Henry Robinett

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Here's a musical legacy to really celebrate and keep close to you. You simply cannot overstate the influence of Elvin Jones on modern drumming in Jazz, and how it spread across to fusion, etc...


Man, we are really reaching the end of an era...





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I don't want to live in a world where there's no Elvin Jones. But I guess I'll figure it out. Go with God, Elvin. Thanks.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."


Les Paul

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Henry, thanks for the story. It's always a treat to hear that your idols are cool people.


Elvin Jones was absolutely, beyond a doubt one of the best drummers of all time. I guess it's moments like this I'm really grateful for the concept of recorded music...people in the future will still be able to enjoy his amazing talent.


End of an era, indeed. And where's the next Elvin?

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Elvin was a favorite of mine, too--along with Art Blakey and Tony Williams, both of whom I miss daily.


But let's not forget that we live in an incredible time for drumming and drummers. Dennis Chambers, Thomas Lang, Virgil Donati, Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta... There are a lot of fabulous players right now who are helping to redefine drumming. Yes, they're very different from the kings of the jazz era, but that's as it should be, right?


As we mourn the heroes of earlier ages, let's not forget to celebrate the heroes of today.

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Elvin was an artist who's art went beyond drumming through his drumming.Tony Williams was like that as well.This is too big a hole to fill with both of them gone.I'll personally cherish their influence on me as a musician and hope the same will reach beyond their time to influence others to come.
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
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