Elvin Jones’ connection to the John Coltrane Quartet is inescapable, but it shouldn’t be the only defining feature of his career. After all, Jones expanded the role of the jazz percussionist in the post-bop era, and helped bridge the gap to more avant-garde styles of drumming through his virtuostic style. This style continued to develop and grow after departing the Coltrane Quartet (Due to displeasure over Coltrane’s addition of a second drummer) and going solo.
Before his departure however, Jones was already a prolific figure in his own rite, having already performed with the likes of Miles Davis and Charles Mingus long before even connecting with John Coltrane. He also regularly collaborated with bassist and fellow Coltrane Quintet compatriot
Jimmy Garrison, forming the recording collective the Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet, recording several albums together. 1964’s Illumination! was one such album, which featured the rhythm section pair joined by McCoy Tyner, also from the Coltrane Quintet, on piano, as well as strong session turns from Sonny Simmons (Alto Sax/English Horn), Charles Davis (Bari Sax), and William Lasha (Clarinet/Flute). A highly sought after set of advanced hard bop, featuring some of Jones’ most powerful percussion chops.