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Roland Parris (Ron) Jefferson: 1926-2007
Roland Parris (Ron) Jefferson
Journeyman Swing and Bop Drummer

Born: February 13, 1926 in New York City, New York
Died: May 7, 2007 in Richmond, Virginia

Popular Drummer in the 1950s

Copyright © 2007 

Largely forgotten after the mid-1960s, Ron Jefferson was a popular journeyman swing and bop drummer with numerous recordings to his credit.

At 24, he played behind Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins, and later recorded with Oscar Pettiford and Freddie Redd. For two years, 1954-56, he played with vibraphonist Joe Roland, and then joined Lester Young's group for a year. In 1957, he joined Charlie Rouse and Julius Watkins in the Jazz Modes, which dissolved in 1959.

Jefferson relocated to Los Angeles after the Jazz Modes broke up and worked extensively with organist Groove Holmes, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards and keyboardist Les McCann. He also recorded with Lou Rawls, Zoot Sims, Joe Castro and Victor Feldman. In 1962, Jefferson led a date called Love Lifted Me for the Pacifica label.

He left the United States to live in Paris in the mid-'60s and recorded The Speaker and Every Little Bit Helps for the Polydor label. Returning to New York City in the early '70s, he became involved in Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Jazz and People's Movement.

In 1976, he made a final recording called Vout Etes Swing! for the Catalyst label.

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With 2 reader comments, latest May 30, 2007