Yesterday was the funeral of the legendary Motown drummer Uriel Jones. This was such a shock, as he had complications earlier this year and was in hospital recovering well, or so it seemed. I was honoured to meet him on a number of occasions and indeed he performed on my Detroit session last year. I shall never forget him as one way or another he has been part of my musical quests since about 1970. When I was just 15 years old I realised something was happening in Detroit and wanted to know who the musicians were. Uriel was part of that dream and through Alan Slutskys book 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown' , I finally found out what his name was around 1992! In 2002 I travelled to Detroit with some colleagues and met him at Ann Arbour Library where he was performing with Joe Hunter, Marcus Belgrave, Fred Bryant, and Tonya Hood. I had the honour of cleaning his shoes for him as a fun gesture. In 2006 Philly producer, writer, musician Bobby Eli invited me to attend the 'Soulful Tale of two Cities' Detroit session, and again I met Uriel and all the musicians at the studio. Of course, my session in Detroit last year was a thrill to see him and the others tailor my songs in true Detroit style with the help of Dennis Coffey co producing and arrangments by David van de Pitte.
My condolances go to his family and friends who have lost a gifted and talented individual that has inspired so many. He will never be out my life, that's for sure. For the Detroit News coverage fo the funeral go here.