Mark Shim was then featured on the ballad You’ve Changed. A beautiful tone and fluent phrasing characterized his effort. Elvin’s brushwork is always a treat. Two days earlier on the ballad In a Sentimental Mood he used the brushes like mallets, pounding out the rhythm. This evening he showcased his genius with the brushes in a quieter manner.
Ravi was featured on the next number and went deep into the musical caverns of one of his father’s creations entitled Wise One. His spiritual solo soared. He used this vehicle to transport us on a musical journey, exploring the realms of its improvisational possibilities, mesmerizing those in attendance in a series of escalating stages. Carlos McKinney’s solo was empathetically contemplative and extremely percussive. The only Coltrane number the band played this set provided another great avenue for Elvin to showcase his unequaled supremacy behind the kit.
The Japanese folk song Doll of the Bride has become a signature for Elvin Jones’ Jazz Machine. Before the song Elvin told the story of how he was introduced to this wonderful composition over the sound system of a restaurant in Japan. Carlos McKinney played a unique introduction, using the strings on the inside of the piano. Also noteworthy was the bass solo by Reginald Veal. He did many creative things, not the least of which was making the bass sound like a sitar.
A crisp rendition of It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing closed the first night of Elvin’s second week at The Blue Note. Elvin Jones is a Benevolent Spirit, a Jazz Ambassador. One of his defining characteristics is how much enjoyment he gets from playing. He emanates a love for his craft. This rubs off on his bandmates and the audience. Besides his unbelievable technique, this is what makes Elvin so special. He has been quoted as saying "Playing is my function in life".