Elvin Jones: Gingerbread Boy
Elvin Jones (drums)
Puttin' it Together (Blue Note 4282)
Composed by Jimmy Heath.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 8, 1968
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
In just about as contrasting a gig as one can get, Elvin Jones spent two weeks touring Europe with Duke Ellington after departing from John Coltrane's group. A brief run as the house drummer at the Blue Note Paris ensued, at which point the time arose for Elvin to assemble a longstanding group as a leader. He chose to return to the pianoless trio format à la his gigs with Sonny Rollins (1957) and Lee Konitz (1961). This time around, Jones chose fellow Coltrane alumnus Jimmy Garrison as bassist and Joe Farrell to play tenor and soprano saxes and flute. These two sensitive players allowed Elvin total rhythmic control to display his post-Trane technical prowess. Elvin's playing at this stage of his career was at a frighteningly high level – so much so that he himself has referred to this record as one of his very best. Note the many classic bop fills that are "Elvinized" on this track through the use of added notes with unexpected limbs and the starting or ending of fills on off-beats.
Reviewer: Eric Novod