DrumBeat News Vol 8 No 4: Uriel Jones Tribute

Tiger Bill Talk

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So far, 2009 has not been a good year for the drumming community with the loss of Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin in February followed by Drum Legend Louie Bellson. On March 24, 2009 we lost Motown Drum Legend Uriel Jones. He passed away after suffering a heart attack at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn, Michigan at the age of 74. My condolences go out to his wife, June, and their three children. Uriel was the last surviving drummer in the Motown session band known as the Funk Brothers.

Coming to Motown in 1964 after touring with Marvin Gaye, Uriel played a huge part in the success of Motown artists such as The Temptations, Marvin Gay, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, and others. According to Motown arranger Paul Riser, “Uriel’s drum sound was the most open and laid-back, and he was the funkiest of the three guys we had. He had a mixed feel and did a lot of different things well.”

Benny Benjamin, who started out as Motown’s primary drummer, was gradually replaced by Uriel Jones and Richard “Pistol” Allen due to drug addiction problems. Benny passed away in 1969 but Pistol, who died from cancer in 2002, lived long enough to complete the filming of the Funk Brothers documentary, Living in the Shadows of Motown. If you have yet to watch this DVD, don’t miss it. It’s release, in 2003, finally gave the Funk Brothers long overdue credit for all of the work they did for Motown and also gave them a whole new career during which the band toured the world winning two Grammy Awards!

With the passing of Uriel, only four of the original Funk Brothers remain. Although I’m so sorry to see Uriel go, I’m so happy that he finally got the long overdue credit that he and his fellow Funk Brothers so rightly deserved.

I was fortunate enough to have met Uriel when we played the Cape Breton International Drum Festival together in 2005 and we quickly became friends. Uriel was not only a great drummer but a wonderful person. If you’d like to see Uriel in action, take a look at the exclusive video (above) that I took of his performance at the Cape Breton Drum Fest in 2005. Below is my exclusive Interview with Uriel Jones:

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What DrumHeads Are Saying…

From: James Moore
Subject: Henry Adler

Hi Tiger Bill

I just finished watching the interview with Henry Adler. Incredible interview, what a wealth of drumming history !!!!

It was great to hear him mention Tony DeNicola, as I studied with Tony for about 12 years, and miss him terribly since his passing. It was great to watch Henry talk because I saw a lot of Tony’s mannerisms in him. Brought back lots of memories. I forwarded it to several friends who also studied with Tony back in the day. They all wrote me back thanking me for sending it. Everyone enjoyed it.

Also, thanks for all you do for the Drumming community, Great stuff !!

All the best,
Jim Moore

(Note: Above quote used with permission.)

Congrats to the Winners of Last Month’s Contest!

And a Huge THANK YOU! to the following sponsors for donating the prizes:

ALFRED PUBLISHING Rich Lackowski’s On The Beaten Path: Metal Book/CD
HUDSON MUSIC Russ Miller’s Arrival Behind The Glass DVD/CD Set

Enter My April Contests for Your Chance to Win One of These Cool, Valuable Prizes!

CLICK HERE for a chance to win Paul Wertico – Drum Philosophy DVD, courtesy of Alfred Publishing

CLICK HERE for a chance to win Vera Cruz Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset Book / 2 CD Set by Vera Figueiredo and Daniel Olivieira, courtesy of Hudson Music

Note: You must live in the USA or Canada to be eligible to enter these contests.


I’m continuing to run some special deals on books, CDs, and DVDs for half-price and less! These are all new products that are overstocks and quantities are limited, so check them out. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. One Time Special Sales on DVDs, Books, CDs.

Please make use of my new drum shop online Chat feature where you can reach me directly with any product questions you may have. If I’m not online, you can still leave me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Featured SOLO SPOTS!

Tiger Bill’s Video Drum Lesson: Increase Your Speed Around the Drums: Part 4

Cape Breton International Drum Festival Get your tickets now to the 9th Annual event that takes place next month – May 23-24, 2009. And, if you do attend, be sure to say Hey to fellow DrumHead and event producer Bruce Aitken. He really does it right!

Featured DRUM BLOG!

Super Drumming Requires Super Eating!

Tiger Bill’s Latest Bottom Line Reviews

Paul Wertico – Drum Philosophy DVD from Alfred Publishing

Vera Cruz Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset Book / 2 CD Set

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Until next time:
Take care, have fun, stay loose, and I’ll see you online!
Tiger Bill

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  1. Bernard April 7, 2009
  2. Mark April 7, 2009
  3. TigerBill April 8, 2009
  4. jez April 9, 2009
  5. "Dollar" Bill April 13, 2009
  6. Cezar Ângelo Filho April 26, 2009
  7. TigerBill April 27, 2009

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