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Elvin Jones

dr, 1927-2004 US, Pontiac, Michigan
Musician of Jazz
A.k.a. Elvin Ray Jones

Elvin Jones was born September 9, 1927 in Pontiac, Michigan, USA. Died on May 18, 2004, Englewood, New Jersey, USA, from heart failure. Called by Life magazine "the world's greatest rhythmic drummer". He had two musician brothers: Hank Jones, a jazz pianist, and Thad Jones, a trumpet and flugelhorn player. Jones entered the Detroit jazz scene in the late 1940s after touring as a stagehand with the Army Special Services show Operation Happiness. After a brief gig at the Detroit club Grand River Street, he went to work at another club, backing up such jazz greats as Parker, Davis and Wardell Grey. Jones, with his rhythmic, innovative style, became one of jazz's most famous drummers under Coltrane. By age 13, determined to be a drummer, Elvin was practicing eight to ten hours a day. In 1946 Elvin enlisted in the Army, and toured with a Special Services show called Operation Happiness - as a stagehand. Unofficially, however, he was honing his own musical skills and gaining confidence, playing at post social affairs. Jones was discharged in 1949, returning to a Detroit musical scene that was as vibrant as any outside New York. Elvin began to frequent the Bluebird Inn. In time, Jeader Billy Mitchell hired Elvin, and in three years at the club he backed up visiting stars including the legendary Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Wardell Grey, and, for six months, Miles Davis. In Addition, Monday nights there were jam sessions Elvin organized at his home. The long list of musicians Elvin played with during this period includes Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, Tommy Flanagan, Pepper Adams, Barry Harris, Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Lou Hayes and Yusef Lateef. Elvin made his move to New York ostensibly to audition for a new Benny Goodman band. Instead, he ended up with Charles Mingus, and in subsequent years he developed his style with Bud Powell, Miles Davis, the Pepper Adams-Donald Byrd Quintet, Art Farmer and J.J. Johnson. He also had his first experiences playing with Miles' tenor man and the increasingly celebrated recording artist John Coltrane. After leaving Miles in 1960, Coltrane was touring in San Francisco with his new group when he flew back to New York to seek out Elvin. Through 1966, Elvin contributed to some of the most controversial, influential, and ultimately important music in jazz. Among the triumphant recordings from his great association are "A love Supreme" and "Coltrane 'Live' at the Village Vanguard". In March 1966, Elvin left Coltrane. After a brief European tour with Duke Ellington's band he returned to New York to begin his distinguished career as leader, with a series of innovative piano-less trios featuring Joe Farrell on tenor alto and flute, and one of several bassists including Jimmy Garrison, Bill Wood, Charlie Haden and Wilbur Little. Elvin has been heard on nearly 500 recordings, with no end in sight. He also made a temporary detour to Hollywood in 1971 to appear as the character Job Cain in the ABC Paramount film "Zachariah". Reflecting his deep commitment to the music "Playing is not something I do at night" he said, "It's my function in life".

  • Drums
  • Percussion
  • Guitar
  • Jazz
  • Pop
  • Soul
Popular Tracks   
I Mo' Take You to My Hospital and Cut Your Liver Out on The Wide Point by Albert Mangelsdorff, Elvin Jones & Palle Danielsson
Cup Bearers on The Enja Heritage Collection: Confirmation by Tommy Flanagan, George Mraz & Elvin Jones
Gettin' On Way on Illumination! by Elvin Jones & Jimmy Garrison Sextet
La Fiesta on Merry-Go-Round by Elvin Jones
My Favourite Things - Instrumental on After The Rain by John McLaughlin, Elvin Jones & Joey DeFrancesco
Elvin Elpus on And Then Again by Elvin Jones
What's New on Clarinescapade by Various Artists
Reza on Puttin' It Together by Elvin Jones
Shiny Stockings on Heavy Sounds by Elvin Jones & Richard Davis
Raunchy Rita on Heavy Sounds by Elvin Jones & Richard Davis

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
The Quintessence NYC-Stockholm 1956-62Elvin Jones2017Compil.
Do What You LikeGinger Baker's Air Force, Ginger Baker, Elvin Jones2015Compil.
Ilumination! / Dear John C.Elvin Jones2011Compil.
Live At The LighthouseElvin Jones2009Album
Bill Frisell With Dave Holland And Elvin JonesBill Frisell With Dave Holland And Elvin Jones2001Album
The Complete Blue Note Elvin Jones SessionsElvin Jones2000Album
And Then Again / Midnight WalkElvin Jones1999Compil.
Momentum SpaceDewey Redman / Cecil Taylor / Elvin Jones1999Album
Together!"Philly" Joe Jones & Elvin Jones1999Album
At This Point In TimeElvin Jones1998Album
Into The Frying PanThe Greg Packham Group Featuring Elvin Jones1998Album
OlioThad Jones - Frank Wess - Teddy Charles - Mal Waldron - Doug Watkins - Elvin Jones, The Prestige All Stars1996Album
Elvin JonesElvin Jones1994Compil.
It Don't Mean A Thing...Elvin Jones1994Album
Live At The Village Vanguard / Volume OneElvin Jones1993Album
When I Was At Aso-MountainElvin Jones1993Album
One For NamesakeRobert Hurst Featuring: Kenny Kirkland & Elvin Jones1993Album
In EuropeElvin Jones1992Album
Very R.A.R.E. & Love And PeaceElvin Jones1992Compil.
In Concert - A Love SupremeElvin Jones1992Album
YoungbloodElvin Jones1991Album
Village Vanguard Live Sessions 1Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis, Ray Nance, Pepper Adams, Richard Davis1990Compil.
Earth JonesElvin Jones1983Album
Brother JohnElvin Jones1982Album
Heart To HeartElvin Jones1981Album
Another SoilTomoki Takahashi Meets Elvin Jones, Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.1980Album
Super-SessionTommy Flanagan, Red Mitchell, Elvin Jones1980Album
Jazz 2000Elvin Jones1979Compil.
Very RareElvin Jones1979Album
Giant StepsNobuo Hara and His Sharps & Flats, Elvin Jones, Frank Foster1978Album
MoonflowerFumio Karashima Meets Elvin Jones1978Album
Live At Village Vanguard Vol.1Elvin Jones1977Album
Skyscrapers - Vol. 3Elvin Jones1977Album
Skyscrapers - Vol. 1Elvin Jones1977Album
Summit MeetingElvin Jones1977Album
Skyscrapers - Vol. 4Elvin Jones1977Album
Time CapsuleElvin Jones1977Album
Skyscrapers - Vol. 2Elvin Jones1977Album
The Prime ElementElvin Jones1976Album
The Main ForceElvin Jones1976Album
TogetherOregon / Elvin Jones1976Album
The Wide PointAlbert Mangelsdorff, Elvin Jones, Palle Danielsson1975Album
New AgendaElvin Jones1975Album
LiveElvin Jones1975Album
Is "On The Mountain"Elvin Jones1975Album
Live At The Village VanguardElvin Jones1974Album
The Impulse YearsElvin Jones1974Compil.
Hollow OutElvin Jones / Masabumi Kikuchi1973Album
Mr. JonesElvin Jones1973Album
Live At The LighthouseElvin Jones1972Album
Merry Go RoundElvin Jones1972Album
CoalitionElvin Jones1971Album
GenesisElvin Jones1971Album
Electric Byrd / That Healin' Feelin' / Love Call / CoalitionOrnette Coleman, Horace Silver, Elvin Jones, Donald Byrd1971Album
Poly-CurrentsElvin Jones1970Album
Heavy SoundsElvin Jones And Richard Davis1968Album
The UltimateElvin Jones1968Album
Five Greatest DrummersMax Roach / Shelly Manne / Elvin Jones / "Philly" Joe Jones / Art Blakey1968Compil.
Midnight WalkElvin Jones1967Album
Midnight WalkElvin Jones1967Single
Together!"Philly" Joe Jones & Elvin Jones1966Album
And Then AgainElvin Jones1965Album
Rip, Rig & PanicThe Roland Kirk Quartet Featuring Elvin Jones1965Album
Dear John C.Elvin Jones1965Album
Together!"Philly" Joe Jones & Elvin Jones1964Album
ConflictJimmy Woods Sextet Featuring Elvin Jones1963Album
Elvin!Elvin Jones1962Album
Drums - Vol. 2 : Jam Session De Batteries Au "Birdland"Art Blakey, Charlie Persip, Elvin Jones Et "Philly" Joe Jones1960Single
Motor City SceneThad Jones, Billy Mitchell, Al Grey, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers, Elvin Jones1959Album
OlioThad Jones - Frank Wess - Teddy Charles - Mal Waldron - Doug Watkins - Elvin Jones, Prestige1958Single
Paul Chambers QuintetPaul Chambers Quintet With Donald Byrd, Clifford Jordan, Tommy Flanagan, Elvin Jones1957Album
OlioThad Jones - Frank Wess - Teddy Charles - Mal Waldron - Doug Watkins - Elvin Jones, The Prestige All Stars1957Album
Jam Session De Batteries Au BirdlandArt Blakey, Charlie Persip, Elvin Jones Et "Philly" Joe JonesSingle
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