I know Elvin Jones had been ill for a long time, and his passing should be no surprise, but I'm hurting. For weeks now, I have been in a prolonged awestruck state listening to his drumming, specifically on "India" from Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard. Something about it has gotten under my skin.
Listen -- he plays the riff differently each time. I try counting and can't always pinpoint where it begins or ends. It lulls me into some other place. And then of course, Coltrane (and Dolphy, yes?) bust a gut. But instead of spiking and plummeting, it's as if they are skating in circles around Elvin.
I don't know how I'll ever get there, but someday I hope to make music that feels like that.