Sunday, May 31, 2015

Remembering Bassist Eddie Jones by George A. Borgman

Bassist Edward Jones, also known as "Eddie" or "Jonesy," was originally from Greenwood, Mississippi where he was born on March 1, 1929. He grew up in Redbank, New Jersey, where he lived two doors from William "Count" Basie's childhood home. He studied music at Howard University and worked in Washington with tenor saxophonists Benny Golson and Frank Wess.

Jones, on Wess's recommendation, joined the Basie band in 1953, and in 1961, he was named bassist of the year in the Playboy All-Star Jazz Poll. While in the Basie band, Jones studied computer science on his own, and he left Basie in 1963 to join IBM as a systems engineer. He later worked 22 years for the Cigna Corporation, and he retired as vice president of computer support technology.

Jones made numerous recordings with top jazz artists, he played with small groups at various clubs in this country and Europe, he performed with the Manchester (Conn.) Symphony, and he was a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's board of directors.
I met Eddie at a Connecticut club, where he worked with Harry Allen, Warren Vache', Jr., John Bunch, and the late Alan Dawson, and I was impressed with his playing and genial personality.

He died at age 68 of cancer at his home in West Hartford, Connecticut, on May 31, 1997.

Count Basie - Live in '62
Count Basie - piano
Marshal Royal, Frank Wess - alto sax
Eric Dixon, Frank Foster, Frank Wess - tenor sax
Charlie Fowkes - baritone sax
Al Aarons, Sonny Cohn, Thad Jones, Snooky Young - trumpet
Henry Coker, Quentin "Butter" Jackson, Benny Powell - trombone
Freddie Green - guitar
Eddie Jones - bass
Sonny Payne - drums
Irene Reid - vocal

1. Easin' It
2. You Are Too Beautiful
3. Corner Pocket
4. Stella By Starlight
5. Back To The Apple
6. I Needs To Be Bee'd With
7. I Got Rhythm
8. Back Water Blues
9. Alexander's Ragtime Band
10. Old Man River
11. One O'Clock Jump

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