Wayne Shorter’s album, Speak No Evil is probably my favorite jazz album. It’s pretty straight ahead and accessible. Speak No Evil was the first album I heard Elvin Jones play on.
Elvin is a beast, my favorite jazz drummer. He sounds so unique – within four bars, you know it’s Elvin. He was the master of the triplet. Everything he played, had an infectious roundness to it. You hear him on Fee-Fi-Foo-Fum from Speak No Evil, his playing is so delicate and tasteful. Contrast that to him playing with John Coltrane on A Love Supreme where he is a powerhouse.
Elvin always sounds like he is propelling the band forward. If a jazz band were a train, Elvin is the engine.
There’s just something about listening to improvised music. When you listen to it, you hear the moment. Sounds that will never be produced in the same way again. When I listen to albums like Speak No Evil or A Love Supreme, it’s like looking at an action photograph. A perfect moment captured, that can never be recreated. And with Elvin in the engine room, it’s always special.