How to properly measure a life in music-by discography, a sum of all performances and recordings? By honors and credits, totaling awards and other merits of distinction? By witness and wake of influence, through testimonials of colleagues and contemporaries?
Elvin Ray Jones, who passed away May 18, 2004, presents a challenge that demands all approaches and pushes for more. What he accomplished in his expansive career-and how he connected with fellow musicians and fans-is well beyond simple measure. In the weeks that followed his death in New York City, there was a wake, a memorial service and a four-day tribute at the Blue Note jazz club. At each, music was played and praise was given to the polyrhythmic upstart, the generous teacher, the father, the husband, the caring bandleader, who spread love and mumbled as he worked the brushes.