9 September 1927, Pontiac, Michigan, USA, d. 18 May 2004, Englewood, New Jersey, USA. The youngest of the Jones brothers (see also Thad Jones and Hank Jones), Elvin grew up in a musical atmosphere. He played drums with local bands before and after military service and by the early 50s was playing regularly with Billy Mitchells small group. In the middle of the decade Jones relocated in New York, rapidly establishing himself as a leading exponent of bop drumming. He worked with several notable musicians including J.J. Johnson, Donald Byrd and Sonny Rollins, and in 1960 became a member of John Coltranes quartet. He played with Coltrane for five years during which period he grew into one of the outstanding drummers in jazz history. The role he occupied in this period was of considerable importance in the development of post-bop drumming. Jones career after Coltrane was mainly as a leader of small groups, where he was able to exercise full control...
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