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MUSICIAN Born:

Elvin Jones

Elvin Ray Jones was a jazz drummer. He was born in Pontiac, Michigan, the youngest child in a family of ten. His father worked for General Motors. Two of Jones' brothers were also jazz musicians: Hank (piano), and Thad (trumpet/flugelhorn). Elvin began playing professionally in the 1940s, working with the Army Special Services program, Operation Happiness, and in 1949 had a short-lived gig in Detroit's Grand River Street club. Eventually he went on to play with artists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wardell Gray. In 1955, after a failed audition for the Benny Goodman band, he found work in New York, joining Charles Mingus's band, and releasing a record called J is for Jazz. In 1960, he joined with the classic John Coltrane Quartet, which also included bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner. Jones and Coltrane often played extended duet passages, both giving and taking energy through their instruments

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures

Read "Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Everybody needs a helping hand now and then. Rudy Royston understands that. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused gigs to completely dry up for all musicians, and with that, their main income stream. Yet there are still mortgages, rents and bills to pay, and children to feed. It says something about the precarious finances of a jazz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Record label bosses probably do not hear the words “solo drum album" too often. Or if they do, judging by the paucity of such exemplars on the market, they likely only have to hear the phrase the once. After three impressive albums on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label, to wit, 303 (2014), Rise of Orion (2016) ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and The Light

Read "The Shadows and The Light" reviewed by Kevin Press

Add Chicago's Quin Kirchner to the growing list of young jazz artists who've dropped impressive multi-disc releases in recent years. It has become a kind of rite of passage for a new breed of heavy hitters, these double-and triple-album sets. They are not vanity projects. Not the good ones, anyway. They come from deep pools of ...

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Like many jazz musicians in 2020, drummer/composer Rudy Royston has felt the direct effects of living in the coronavirus world. The Texas native, now a New Jersey resident, found his streams of income drying up without gigs, but then experienced a fortunate twist of fate that stood him up. Head above water, the artist pays it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sasha Mashin: Happy Synapse

Read "Happy Synapse" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Whoa! Russian born drummer Sasha Mashin kicks off his high-flying second disc with the crackling, manically modal, high-powered, retro-Impulse! speed-buzz of “The Hidden Voice," written by fevered alto-saxophonist Rosario giuliani, and Happy Synapse barely lets up from there. It is a sweet sound, a really, really sweet sound. Mashin intros “The Hidden Voice" like ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

50th Anniversary Blue Notes For July

Read "50th Anniversary Blue Notes For July" reviewed by Marc Cohn

First show of the month, you know that means: Blue Note 50th anniversaries! This month, Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land (San Francisco), Lee Morgan (celebrating his July birthday at the Lighthouse), McCoy Tyner (Cosmos via Asante), and Elvin Jones (Coalition). We've also got the 78s of BN-24 from James P. Johnson, as well as Clifford Brown ...

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...


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