Elvin Jones

Going Home

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On Elvin Jones' third Enja CD of the 1990s, the legendary drummer continues with the same formula used on his previous recording, Youngblood, with one exception. Jones adds the veteran Chicago pianist Willie Pickens to a group of younger players -- trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonists Javon Jackson and Ravi Coltrane, flutist Kent Jordan, and bassist Brad Jones -- as they perform a program of standards and originals powered by Jones' always dynamic drumming. Never known as a composer, Jones wrote three of the eight compositions on Going Home. "The Shell Game" sounds like a figure Jones would play on the drums; it's a brief melody that serves as a springboard for the soloists. "April 8th" begins with Jones playing a march that quickly develops into an up-tempo burner with a march-like bridge, while the title track is a down-home blues featuring Pickens' piano. "Truth," written by Jones' wife Keiko, begins with a drum solo that develops into a Japanese folk song-like melody, then develops into a finger-poppin' groove. Payton, 19 years old at the time of this recording, shows the promise here that makes him a player to watch in years to come. A welcome addition to Jones' extensive discography.

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