Encounters with Elvin
About 25 years later The Elvin Jones Drum Machine played Malmo, Sweden, my hometown. This was at the late Fredman club, one of the rare places in the country that really looked like a jazz cluband I brought the album with me. Elvin, now an elderly gentleman in the parish register, was as great as ever in his playing. He surrounded himself with young co-players, chasing them to madness. It was heavenly. After the gig was over, I was drawn backstage, where everyone were sitting eating around a sofa table. Once again I tried flattery. "Mr. Jones, I'm a great admirer of your way to play drums," I said. Elvin, being a warm and extroverted person, brightened up, said 'thank you' and laughed. We talked some about jazz music, and eventually I approached my real subject, the classic quartet. I told him we had met at Birdland in 1962 and pulled out the album asking him to sign it. "Big eyes" looked at it for a whileand his eyes started to water. "Ah", he said, "I can't believe it." His eyes shiny and a big smile, he stood up to hug me. We were standing like this for a while and he shook me violently. Then he produced a pen, asked for my name (having some problems getting it right, and wrote: "To Bertil. Love and PEACE. Elvin Jones." This is my sole remaining souvenir from the New York jazz scene. Coltrane has his place in music history. I've got a document of my encounter with him and his premier supporter.