Rusty Jones (musician)

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Rusty Jones
Background information
Birth nameIsham Russell Jones II
Born(1942-04-13)April 13, 1942
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
DiedDecember 9, 2015(2015-12-09) (aged 73)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1955–2015
Associated actsGeorge Shearing, Marian McPartland, Stéphane Grappelli

Isham Russell "Rusty" Jones II (April 13, 1942 – December 9, 2015) was an American jazz drummer.

Early life[edit]

Jones began playing drums at the age of thirteen and continued on throughout his college years, choosing traditional and modern jazz as his preferred mode of music. He went "on the road" after graduating college in 1965 from the University of Iowa with a degree in history and political science, to "get it out of his system", but he never stopped his pursuit of a musical vocation. He moved to the Chicago area in 1967.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Jones appeared with Chicago singer Judy Roberts from 1968–72, soon after becoming a member of George Shearing's trio from 1972-78. Later years he accompanied pianist Marian McPartland for a few years and then freelanced throughout Chicago with several bands, touring the United States and Europe. He worked quite a bit with Adam Makowicz, Larry Novak, Patricia Barber, Frank D'Rone, Art Hodes, Ira Sullivan, J.R. Monterose, and Stéphane Grappelli.[1]

Jones had short stints with Buddy DeFranco, Art Van Damme, Kai Winding, Curtis Fuller, Lee Konitz, "Wild Bill" Davison, Anita O'Day, Mark Murphy, Flip Phillips, Morgan King, Red Holloway, Eddie Higgins, Ike Cole, Clifford Jordan, Franz Jackson, Bobby Enriquez, Monty Alexander and Catherine Whitney, among many others. He recorded with many of the previously mentioned musicians.

Jones appeared quite regularly around the Chicago area with musicians from the young jazz scene in Chicago.[2] He died in Chicago on December 9, 2015.[3]

Notable family members[edit]

Jones' father was a saxophonist and his mother a vocalist (appearing under the name of Gretchen Lee) with most of their gigs being in and around the Chicago area. His mother was working at the Bismark Hotel in 1936 when the couple married. Other musicians in Jones' family were his grandfather, a trombonist/bandleader named Frank Jones, who worked in the Saginaw and Detroit area and his maternal uncle, Dean Herrick, an early artist on the Hammond organ.[1]

The best known of these family musicians was Jones' great uncle, Isham Jones who became a renowned American bandleader/songwriter beginning with the 1920s and ending in 1936 when he initially retired. He wrote popular songs of the era such as, "It Had To Be You", "I'll See You In My Dreams", "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else", "Swingin' Down The Lane", "On The Alamo", "There Is No Greater Love", "We're In The Army Now" and several others.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Illiana Club of Traditional Jazz - Home". Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  2. ^ "First Monday Jazz: Rusty Jones Quartet, Chicago". Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  3. ^ "Rusty Jones, jazz drummer, dies". Chicago Tribune. December 10, 2015.
  4. ^ [1] Archived October 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]