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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Melvin Jones: Pivot

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Melvin Jones offers a variety of musical styles on Pivot, with a selection of modern romp and simmering ballads on this very impressive debut as a leader. For the trumpeter, “pivot" is the defining moment--indeed the turning point--in which different genres come together in one special album. Jones contributes the majority of this thirteen-piece, nearly all original repertoire, borrowing a few charts from Atlanta saxophonist Mace Hibbard and pianist Louis Heriveaux. No novice in the world of jazz, the Atlanta-based Jones has performed with the likes of Don Braden, Clark Terry,, Terence Blanchard, Carmen Lundy and Freddy Cole--the ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Elvin Jones Jazz Machine

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Elvin JonesElvin Jones Jazz Machine View Video 2009

Elvin Jones may have established himself as one of the greatest drummers of all time, but equally important to him was his nurturing of young musicians. His Jazz Machine opened the door to several upcoming musicians, including Delfeayo Marsalis, Antoine Roney and Ravi Coltrane. He characteristically took delight in their playing, thus forging an empathic bond. His attitude also served to enrich the music of the band.

The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine toured Europe in 1991 with Sonny Fortune (tenor saxophone, flute). ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Elvin Jones: Jazz Machine

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Elvin Jones Jazz Machine View Video 2008

Some might argue that Elvin Jones was, along with Art Blakey, one of the top two hard bop jazz drummers of all time. In the '60s, he cemented his legend on numerous John Coltrane recordings and performances and what might be Jones' most-underrated work also emerged during that decade: trios and quartets under the leadership of guitarist Grant Green featuring organist Larry Young and a trio led by Jones with reedman Joe Farrell and fellow Coltrane alum Jimmy Garrison on bass. In ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Rhapsody Films Double Feature: Elvin Jones and Jaki Byard

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Rhapsody Films Double Feature: Jaki Byard - Anything for Jazz (1980) Elvin Jones - Different Drummer (1979) Rhapsody Films 2004

As part of its ongoing reissue of classic jazz titles on DVD, Bruce Ricker pairs two documentaries - Ed Gray's '79 Elvin Jones film, Different Drummer , with Dan Algrant's '80 piece on pianist Jaki Byard, Anything for Jazz. An interesting pairing, given Jones' influential stature in the jazz world, and Byard's sadly more overlooked contribution. Both documentaries paint compelling portraits, mostly in the artists' own words, with bassist Ron Carter providing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elvin Jones Jazz Machine: The Truth: Heard Live at the Blue Note

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Recorded five years before his passing earlier this year, The Truth: Heard Live at the Blue Note paints a picture of Elvin Jones before ill health weakened his powerful and individual style. With an expanded version of his Jazz Machine that includes saxophonist Antoine Roney, trombonist Robin Eubanks, trumpeter Darren Barrett, pianist Carlos McKinney, long-time musical companion and bassist Gene Perla, and guest saxophonist Michael Brecker on two tracks, Jones' signature polyrhythmic approach and muscular sound are in full evidence.

Combining a couple of standards with original compositions and one significant nod to his former employer, Jones seems most intent ...

BIOGRAPHIES

Elvin Jones 1927-2004: A True Moment In Time

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Elvin Jones, one of the most influential and accomplished drummers in history, passed away Tuesday May 18 due to heart failure. Most notable for his work with John Coltrane, he helped to revolutionize the way jazz and contemporary music are heard and played. Described by Louie Bellson as “Mother Earth coming alive with syncopation," there isn't a drummer today in the world of jazz and contemporary music that hasn't felt his influence. Born on September 9, 1927, the youngest of ten children, Jones came from a musical family that included brothers Hank and Thad, pianist and trumpet ...

OPINION/EDITORIAL

Good-bye, Elvin

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On May 18, 2004 the world lost perhaps the most influential drummer of all time, Elvin Jones . He happened to be one of my heroes. Incredibly muscular and robust most of his life, Elvin succumbed to chronic heart failure. For those of us who knew him, it seemed inconceivable that he could become as frail as he was described near the end of life.The youngest of ten, Elvin was born in Pontiac, Michigan, growing up in a musical household where two of his brothers, pianist Hank and trumpeter Thad, also were destined for greatness. As a child ...



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