Philly Joe Jones & Elvin Jones – Le Roi (1961)

Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones, unrelated despite their names, are two of the most individual drummers in jazz. Who could ever forget the thrilling sound of the Miles Davis Quintet when Philly Joe threw in his weight against the contributions of Paul Chambers and Red Garland? Who could ignore the tremendous strides made by Elvin Jones since he joined John Coltrarte’s group? Le Roi  is the first track out of three on the album by Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones Together! . It was recorded in 1961 but released on the Atlantic label in 1964. Tracks at Together!: 1. Le Roi (6:02), 2. Beau-ty (11:54), 3. Brown Sugar (15:01).

According to Baker, this 1961 meeting of two jazz drumming giants came about after they both attended a Russell sextet performance and asked the leader to write some music for a co-led album date. Russell recommended Baker instead, and the young trombonist composed several pieces for the Jones duo, though ultimately only one was recorded and released. A punchy, medium-cooker tune with waltz-time interludes, “Le Roi” features a hard-bop hall of fame lineup with trombonist Curtis Fuller, saxophonist Hank Mobley, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Wynton Kelly and bassist Paul Chambers,  not to mention the dueling-drummer duo, with Elvin Jones taking the first drum solo and Philly Joe Jones the second. Baker and fellow Indianapolis musician Charles Tyler would revisit this piece with an avant-garde slant for Tyler’s 1967 album, Eastern Man Alone. [source]

Philly Joe Jones (Drums), Elvin Jones (Drums), Blue Mitchell (Trumpet), Curtis Fuller (Trombone), Hank Mobley (Tenor Sax), Wynton Kelly (Piano), Paul Chambers (Bass)


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