I'm sad upon hearing the news of Uriel Jones death. The last of the Funk Brothers prominent drum section to pass on into the great gig in the sky. Now he's seated along Bongo, Papa Zita, Pistol Allen and others...and you know they're having a cut up session to be sure. Probably sipping on corn liquor and laughing at all of our silly asses with Joe Hunter (above, right).
When I was growing up, I didn't realize how living in the Motor City would impact me for the rest of my life. The music and the musicians that created the Motown Sound were always with me, but I wasn't aware of their long-lasting influence on the way I play drums. As I hear it now, Uriel Jones was the drummer I copied most. His simple fills, the way he'd just lay down a bedrock back beat....the groove. So essential was the groove to the Motown sound that producers from all over the world have tried to emulate.
Words can't really describe the respect that I feel for this great drummer. He said once that the best sound he ever got for a kick drum was from an old heavy cardboard beer box - enough said!