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Fri, 09.09.1927

Elvin Jones, Jazz Drummer born

Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones was born on this date in 1927. He was a Black jazz drummer.

Born in Pontiac, MI, Elvin Ray Jones's start with local bands and Army military bands led him to work as the house drummer at the Bluebird Club in Detroit, where he got his first real exposure to professional talents. In 1956, Jones moved to New York, where he began his playing and recording career with Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Bud Powell, and others. He recorded with both of his brothers during his career, jazz musicians Hank Jones and Thad Jones.

After a distinguished relationship working with John Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison, Jones pursued his own career as a leader, working with artists from George Coleman and Joe Farrell to Delfeayo Marsalis and N "Illumination!" 1963, "Live at the Lighthouse," Vols. 1 & 2, 1972, "Coltrane," 1962, "A Love Supreme," 1964, "Sun Ship," 1965, "Ascension," 1965, and "A Night at the Village Vanguard," 1957.

For many, Elvin Jones will always be remembered for his crucial role as the drummer in saxophonist John Coltrane's "classic" quartet of the 1960s. During this period, his place as one of the most influential jazz drummers of the era was cemented.  Known for his swinging, polyrhythmic style built on the bop innovations of Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, and, especially, Art Blakey, Jones used all four of his limbs, seemingly independently, many times "talking" with the main improviser. This style blended with many jazz musicians throughout his career.  Elvin Jones died in May of 2004.

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