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Illumination! / Dear John C.

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Album Review

This two-fer combines drummer Elvin Jones' 1963 release Illumination and Dear John C., which came out two years later. Originally, these LPs were released separately on Impulse. Illumination is actually credited to Jones and Coltrane quartet alumni Jimmy Garrison and, as it states on the cover, features pianist McCoy Tyner. The music is a bit more “out” than Dear John C., which can be attributed to the addition of the innovative avant-garde musicians Sonny Simmons and Prince Lasha. Dear John C. is a laid-back date featuring alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano, with Roland Hanna, and Elvin’s older brother, Hank Jones, splitting piano duties. The music has been remastered and, while there are no bonus tracks or new liner notes, Impulse had the good taste to restore the original packaging: front and back cover art and liner notes.

Biography

Born: 09 September 1927 in Pontiac, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Elvin Jones will always be best-known for his association with the classic John Coltrane Quartet (1960-1965) but he also had a notable career as a bandleader and continued to be a major influence in music. One of the all-time great drummers (bridging the gap between advanced hard bop and the avant-garde), Jones is the younger brother of a remarkable musical family that also includes Hank and Thad Jones. After spending time in the Army (1946-1949), he was a part of the very fertile Detroit jazz scene...
Full bio
Illumination! / Dear John C., Elvin Jones
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