Drummer Uriel Jones dies

March 25th, 2009 - 12:45 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

The drummer of Motown named Uriel Jones passed away and he was 74. A hard-driving funk propelled classic tunes by the Temptations and Marvin Gaye, died in a Michigan hospital on Tuesday after suffering complications from a heart attack, said a family member.

Jones, the last surviving drummer in the Motown session band known as the Funk Brothers, was stricken in mid-February but had been showing signs of improvement, said his sister-in-law Leslie Coleman. He relapsed last Tuesday, and died at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn, she told Reuters.

He was a key component of the ‘psychedelic soul’ foray by the Temptations, including ‘Cloud Nine’ and ‘I Can’t Get Next To You,’ and also brought a party feel of their earlier hit ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.’ But Jones also applied a sensitive touch to such ballads as ‘The Tracks of My Tears’ by The Miracles, and ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ by Jimmy Ruffin.

In 1964, Jones came to Motown and toured with Gaye, and recorded for Motown’s enfant terrible on ‘Ain’t That Peculiar,’ ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ ‘Uriel’s drum sound was the most open and laid back and he was the funkiest of the three guys we had,’ said Motown arranger Paul Riser. ‘He had a mixed feel and did a lot of different things well.’

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