The Jazzcat

Our Beloved Elvin has departed.

by on May.19, 2004, under News


Drummer Elvin Jones Dies Elvin

Ray Jones, the renowned jazz drummer and member of John Coltrane’s

quartet who also played alongside Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and

Miles Davis has died. Jones entered the Detroit jazz scene in the late

1940s after touring as a stagehand with the Army Special Services show

Operation Happiness.

After a brief gig at the Detroit club Grand

River Street, he went to work at another club, backing up such jazz

greats as Parker, Davis and Wardell Grey. Elvin Jones came to New York

in 1955 for an unsuccessful audition for the Benny Goodman band but

stayed in the city, joining Charlie Mingus' band and making a record

called “J is Jazz.” In 1960, he became a member of John Coltrane's


Jones, with his rhythmic, innovative style, became one

of jazz's most famous drummers under Coltrane. He can be heard on many

of Coltrane's recordings…including “A love Supreme” and “Coltrane Live

at the Village Vanguard.”

After leaving the Coltrane quartet,

Jones briefly played with Duke Ellington and formed the Elvin Jones'

Jazz Machine. He put out several solo albums and continued to tour,

including last month in Oakland, Calif.

Besides his wife, Keiko…Elvin leaves a son and a daughter.

Jones, 76, died yesterday of heart failure in a hospital in Inglewood, New Jersey, said his wife of 38 years.

“He’s happy. No more suffering,” said Keiko. ”He’s been fighting for so long.”


called by Life magazine “the world’s greatest rhythmic drummer”, was

born in Pontiac, Michigan, one of 10 children. He had two musician

brothers: Hank, a jazz pianist, and Thad, a trumpet and flugelhorn




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