Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Thanks For the Lessons
Jazz Drummer Elvin Jones of Coltrane Quintet Dies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jazz drummer Elvin Jones, who rose to fame as a driving force behind the John Coltrane Quintet ensemble of the 1960s, has died of heart failure, his wife said on Wednesday. He was 76.

Known for his explosive drumming style, Jones was a fixture in Coltrane's influential quintet from 1960-66. A pioneer of greater improvisation among jazz percussionists, he was viewed by some jazz critics as the best drummer in the world.

"His main achievement was the creation of what might be called a circle of sound, a continuum in which no beat of the bar was necessarily indicated by any specific accent, yet the overall feeling became a tremendously dynamic and rhythmically important part of the whole group," the Encyclopedia of Jazz wrote about Jones.

I saw Elvin 3 times, and even in his late sixties and early seventies he was still amazing and incredibly inspiring. Truly unforgettable experiences. Thanks again, Elvin.