May 05, 2001
My drummer friend Dane and I huddled around the stereo. We were bent on turning our other friend Carl onto John Coltrane, and more importantly, his drummer Elvin Jones. I dropped the needle on the second side of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," and we called Carl over. It was all about impressing him with Jones' amazing solo to begin "Pt. 3: Pursuance." Carl wasn't as into it as we were, but it was still fun smiling in agreement with Dane at the talent that was Jones. That's still the clip I go to when I want to show people what great jazz drumming is.
I had the honor of seeing Jones play live before he passed away this year. R.I.P. Jones was at Jazzfest with his Jazz Machine, and he had Delfeayo Marsalis on trombone. Jones was 73 at this point, but when he hit his set, he didn't show it. He made me want to quit drums. This might sound silly, but it was one of the great moments of my life to watch Elvin Jones play drums. Dane and I were crouching in front of the barricade below the stage. We kept looking at each other in amazement. I can't explain how well he flowed around the kit. Hopefully, in the wake of his death, fans will get more video footage of Jones.
One of the best drummers ever.