Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones Is on the Mountain

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This 1975 date for the brilliant drummer, with Jan Hammer on keyboards and bassist Gene Perla, is a minor, if somewhat overlooked, classic from the tail-end of the early '70s to the mid-70s' run of great jazz fusion releases. Both Perla and Hammer worked with Elvin Jones between 1971 and 1973, in bands featuring saxophonists Frank Foster, Joe Farrell, Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman. Here, the smaller format allows for a tight group sound with openings for strong solos and fluid interplay throughout. Jones is well up in the mix, giving fans a front-row opportunity to enjoy the drummer, both in all-over-the-kit, rolling-thunder mode and in the subtler moments of his peerless brushwork. The trio perform a half-dozen originals by Perla and Hammer. The impressive writing has a definite jazz sensibility, but Hammer's Moog and electric piano work, Perla's alternating between electric and acoustic basses, and Jones' own fierce eruptions provide a satisfying, rock wallop in several spots.

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