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Drum Therapy: Elvin Jones 9/9/27-5/18/04

Elvin Jones

I stepped into the thick-curtained darkness of Yoshi’s at noon, right on time for the soundcheck. Keiko was already onstage, setting up the drums; in the six years I’d spent as his drum tech, Elvin’s wife, manager, and guardian angel had proven impossible to beat to any kind of physical labor.

I said hello and looked around for Elvin; throughout the 38 years of their marriage, one had seldom been found far from the other. Even when Elvin was onstage, Keiko was never farther away than the dressing room: palming a cup of tea, nodding with undiminished appreciation for the sheer genius of her husband’s music, basking in the warmth that radiated from Elvin when he played.

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