RUFFIN: NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT
NEA JAZZ MASTER RICHARD DAVIS REMEMBERS HIS DUET WITH DRUMMER ELVIN JONES, PLAYING THE ICONIC “SUMMERTIME.”
Richard Davis: I always imagined me playing "Summertime" with harps and flutes and clarinets and strings, you know, to make it a kind of symphony, that kind of a thing. And there I was with a drummer and I started playing the melody.
And Elvin took the mallets and started going around on the different drums, making sounds. We played it for 15 minutes. I'd never heard a drummer play like that before. And I said, "What is he doing? What's going on?" That was Elvin Jones.
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH BASSIST RICHARD DAVIS WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
Excerpt of “Summertime” composed by George and Ira Gershwin and performed by Elvin Jones and Richard Davis, from the album, Heavy Sounds, used courtesy of Universal Music and by permission of Warner Chappell Music Inc. (ASCAP).