” Made immortal for his role in the classic John Coltrane Quartet (1960–1965), Elvin Jones was “one of the all–time great drummers,” wrote Scott Yanow at AllMusic, “bridging the gap between advanced hard bop and the avant–garde.” The younger brother of pianist Hank Jones and trumpeter Thad Jones, Elvin led his own stellar small groups for decades until his death in 2004. This week, “Tain” will lead a 90th birthday tribute to the late great Elvin Jones – and he’ll be joined by some of the latter’s former sidemen in what promises to be one of the high points of the New York jazz fall season.
In Elvin’s later small groups, the amazing lineups included such jazz notables as Frank Foster, Joe Farrell, Dave Liebman, and Sonny Fortune; and he nurtured the careers of “young lions” like trumpeter Nicholas Payton and pianist Eric Lewis. Jeff “Tain” Watts is a true disciple of Elvin Jones, a percussionist of immense power and unstoppable drive with a panoramic musical knowledge. To begin the 90th birthday celebration, Watts has assembled the finest alumni from those bands—all front men in their own right—for an all-star tribute to the master. Joining the core band for one day each will be three saxophonists with a deep connection to Elvin’s music, Dave Liebman and Sonny Fortune who played with Elvin, and Ravi Coltrane, son of the legendary John Coltrane, unanimously considered Elvin’s closest musical compatriot. ”
Jeff “Tain” Watts – drums
Nicholas Payton – trumpet
Robin Eubanks – trombone
Dave Liebman – tenor saxophone [9/6 only] Eric Lewis – piano
Neil Caine – bass