Thread: Elvin Jones
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:43 AM
Renato Renato is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
Default Re: Elvin Jones

do you mean how he played his bassdrum?? I got to sit right next to the drumset several times at the Regatta Bar in Boston...it was amazing.

I noticed several things about his bassdrum foot....

1)He feathered the bassdrum quite a bit - and it was very much felt not heard....and with a wood beater!

2)He cranked the crap out of his bassdrum....it was higher pitch than his 18" floortom!

3) He played heels dow for his comping patterns unless he was doing some of his mind-blowing fills and had to plays lots of doubles on the bassdrum and then he was on the ball of his foot and almost sliding his foot up the footboard a bit.

4)Elvin never buried the beater - he let the drum ring out!


I love Elvin and miss him and his presence everyday....just knowing he was alive and kicking it somehow made the world a better place. His music influenced me to leave behind one college and a path in life I would have regretted and go to Boston to study at Berklee.

Here are my favorites of Elvin:
Heavy Sounds - the duo with Richard Davis on "Summertime" is worth the price alone. His mallet solo is amazing - and if you listen close you can hear him grunting away and you can hear his sticks rattling on his bassdrum(they were shoved in between the lugs). And let's not forget - here Elvin play guitar on this recording is a real treat!

Sunship - right before the End of the Coltrane Quartet as it was known...just prior to the introduction of more musicians on titles such as Live in Seattle and Ascension. This record is heavy as anything but still more inside than later records. Elvin is EXPLODING on this one.

Transition - maybe a little more inside than SUnship - but equally impressive.

Crescent - many people consider it to the peak for this group. Fabulous.

A Love Supreme - check out this record....it is perfect. Dig Ashley Kahn's great book about with an intro buy Elvin.

Real McCoy - Elvin is amazing on this.

The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings - amazing becuase of several things but notably the presence of Eric Dolphy throughout adds an unreal dimension to these recordins. Sevveral blistering takes of "India" alone make this worth it. I mean - its about 4 hours of music plus a cool booklet and a poster for about $40....killin'! Also Roy Haynes sits in and this is interesting because Roy was very influential on Elvin and you can hear how Roy has more of a slick approach and Elvin is more like a force of nature organic approach both work and they have similar vocabulary as well. VEry cool.

Tommy Flanagan - Overseas....an early recording of Elvin from his first tour of Europe...and here is the best part....he plays ONLY BRUSHES throughout the recording.

Sonny Rollins - Live AT The Village Vanguard - an amazing double album of SOnny Rollins's Sax trio - with Pete LaRoca on drums - but Elvin sat in and he is on almost the entire recording - an early view of Elvin while he is still puttin' it together....great great great

okay one more - I could go on and on - like his Mosaic boxed set of all his Bluenote stuff is Killing! Plus it has LIve At The Light House in it.

I really like the record he did with his Borther Hank and Richard Davis. "Collaboration" - close to the end of his life http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...Fencoding=UTF8 its worth it for the cover alone.


Elvin passed and the world has never been the same....but it was better becuase he came through. I know the last tune ELvin played was Coltrane's "Dear Lord" I think that is perfect. Elvin was so cool...he once gave me a hug after a gig and I had to practically ring out my sweater....although I read he ruined Buddy Rich's calfskin jacket giving him a hug!

HE also harassed me once about not cleaning my old K's.....I was like "but Elvin, uh I mean I uh want them to sound darker......uh"...."well, some guys say they sound better when there dirty....but they don't! they sound worse! now go home and clean this thing...ahahahaha!"
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