I love Elvin's playing (mods, please delete me)

Not in the least! I'd just stumbled across a cool video of a drum teacher analyzing some of Elvin's techniques and thought about posting it, but wanted to make sure it hadn't already been. So I did a quick search, which led to this thread with its...eye-catching, shall we say, title.

[BTW, your videos are great—I think The Effects of 80,000 Repetitions was the first one I saw.]
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Elvin is my favorite drummer of all time, so I think he's pretty good. I will admit, however, that Tony Williams playing doesn't do much for me. I admire it on a formal level, but it isn't "moving" or "emotional" the way Elvin's playing is.


Platinum Member
Wow 2012 I didn't comment then. Well what's not to love about Elvin Jones or Tony Williams. Both in my top 10 list. Now I've seen drummers play music I don't care for but their drums-I'd be a hypocrite to say I don't love all things drumming. Hmm 2012 I was still playing at church and gigging, but then I was teaching at a Historic Black College and the govt had cut fundings for a program that left about 90% of our freshman prone to fail so myself and a bunch of other faculty putting in time to get them over the hump. I think my experiences and battles with being a poor student really helped me relate and offer help to those who I saw myself. They all had plenty of brains just didn't know it. I'll still hear from some of those "struggling" students who have completed and gone on to do great things. I tell them I still keep in touch with the ones who helped me (a struggling student) similarly so pass it on. So busy then and now I sit and drink coffee and bust ya'll chops. It's not I'm averse to hard work-I love it, but I want a job that is doing something different than past efforts and makes a difference in peoples lives like my wife with hospice. Turning 65 "I figure" I'm about halfway home so I got to figure something to do with this other half (an optimist-who knew?).


Gold Member
I was aware of Elvin Jones and had some records he was on and liked his playing . I saw Elvin the last time he came to play in Toronto and it was a huge revelation . I realized very quickly that he is a Genius . His playing was inspiring and left me in awe . I started buying up more and more albums with Elvin on them after seeing him live . So yes, consider me a fan of Elvin’s playing


"Uncle Larry"
Listening to Elvin play, to me, is like listening to someone speak very eloquently...in a different language.

I can admire it, but I can't understand it. I have limits it seems to what I can digest musically.


Well-known member
I think the comparison to Brian Blade was apt. I don't know qualitatively what it is that they share, but they both leave me with a similar emotional feeling in my musical gut.

His drumming in the 3rd Act of Love Supreme is ethereal. It's frantic and desperate, at times sounding of youthful angst, while somehow strangely ornamental and delicate. His ability to weave in and out of (and sometimes over) John Coltrane and the rest of the quartet is especially (for me) highlighted when the group transitions to focus on the piano soloist in the beginning of the track. The way the floor drops out and the skies clear for Mccoy Tyner to begin his phrase is one of my favorite moments in jazz. I first heard that at 18 while driving home from the ski mountain and spent the next hour rewinding to the beginning of the song so that I could re-listen to that part.

I will say though, if I'm not in the mood for Elvin, I need him turned down or off. Something about his drumming can be headache inducing for me if I'm not in the headspace to emotionally "get on his level". It's because of this that I'm SUUPER patient when my students or fellow musicians tell me that they can't handle him. That's a lot of man to fit into a little speaker haha.