“Many years later”, the tenor saxophonist Bradford Marsalis recalled, “a lot of younger musicians were hanging around with Elvin Jones, and they were talking about, ‘Man, you know, you guys had an intensity when you were playing with Coltrane. I mean, what was it like? How do you play with that kind of intensity?’ And Elvin Jones looks at them and says, ‘You gotta be willing to die with the motherfucker.’ They started laughing like kids do, waiting for the punchline, and then they realized he was serious. How many people do you know that are willing to die—period? Die with anybody! And when you listen to those records, that’s exactly what they sound like. I mean that they would die for each other.”

 


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