Star drummer Elvin Jones, formerly the master-of-rhythms for such as John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter and many, many more, presents the latest version of his own JAZZ MACHINE. Once again he assembled some first-class players, forming a band with a distinct personality and great musical potential.
On trumpet you hear Nicholas Payton, the much-applauded young player from New Orleans who already led the horn sections on Elvin's previous releases "Youngblood" and "Going Home". Also from New Orleans is trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, Wynton's and Branford's younger brother who is not only a gifted soloist but also a successful producer. The only reed player in the band is veteran saxophonist/flutist Sonny Fortune whose Coltranesque playing could be heard in the bands of such great leaders as Charlie Mingus, Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, and Nat Adderley. In the rhythm section drummer/leader Jones and unsung jazz hero Willie Pickens, a player in the authentic tradition of mainstream piano, are joined by Cecil McBee, an extraordinary musician who went down in jazz history as the bassist for Art Pepper, Archie Shepp, Benny Golson, Eddie Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Ray Anderson, Woody Shaw, Yusef Lateef, James Blood Ulmer, and many more. On "Lush Life" (recalling the version John Coltrane recorded with singer Johnny Hartman in 1963) and "Bopsy" (an uptempo scat number), the quintet meets in addition master vocalist Kevin Mahogany from Kansas City.
The music on Elvin's new album ranges from Japanese traditionals to Ellington/Strayhorn classics, from Thelonious Monk's tunes to Sam Cooke's soul sound. But which direction ever the music goes, it is all led and illuminated by Elvin Jones' inimitable art of drumming that combines modern concepts with that well-known thing called swing that means so much in jazz.