URIEL JONES, a drummer with the MOTOWN studio band THE FUNK BROTHERS, has died. He was 74, reports THE DETROIT FREE PRESS. AUDLEY SMITH, the Chief Operating Officer at the MOTOWN MUSEUM said he heard of JONES' passing but did not have more details. "We (the MOTOWN MUSEUM) will do something," SMITH said. "We'll have to sit down and think how best we remember and honor URIEL JONES and we have those details later in the day..." JONES was a member of the loose-knit group of musicians known as THE FUNK BROTHERS, a revolving group of players who performed the backing tracks on MOTOWN tunes recorded at the famed studio on WEST GRAND BOULEVARD in DETROIT. JONES, who played on tunes like THE TEMPTATIONS’ "Ain’t Too Proud to Beg" and MARVIN GAYE’s "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," was one of three primary FUNK BROTHERS drummers. The others were BENNY BENJAMIN, who died in 1969, and RICHARD (PISTOL) ALLEN who passed away in 2002.
Here is one of the most famous drum fills ever. Just listen to the beginning. It's classic and pure Uriel. One of the guys who got me into drumming. Funky as can be and not ever to be topped.
Here's Uriel on "Heard Ot Through The Grapevine" just in case you don't remember. Strong, strong.