Jim Keltner

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Jim Keltner (born April 27, 1942 in Tulsa , Oklahoma ) is an American drummer and percussionist who is one of the stylistically leading and most recorded session drummers in the world.


Jim Keltner began as a jazz drummer and was interested only after the British Invasion of rhythm and blues , rock and folk . He made his first recording in 1965 with Gary Lewis and the Playboys . He was first mentioned by name on Gábor Szabó's album Bacchanal from 1968. His participation in the album Accept No Substitute by Delaney & Bonnie , initiated by Leon Russell , established Keltner in 1969 as a studio musician on the LA scene. Joe Cocker hired Keltner and most of the musicians from Delaney & Bonnie for Mad Dogs & Englishmen .

This led to further engagements on important and style-defining albums from 1970 to 1972: Carly Simon ( Anticipation ), Barbra Streisand ( Barbra Joan Streisand ), Booker T. Jones ( Booker T. & Priscilla ), George Harrison ( The Concert for Bangladesh) ) and John Lennon ( Imagine ). From then on, Keltner was one of the most sought-after session drummers in Los Angeles in the 1970s, alongside Hal Blaine and Jim Gordon .

As a studio musician, he played with musicians and bands such as Elvis Presley , Jerry García , the Plastic Ono Band , Eric Clapton , John Lennon , Yoko Ono , Ringo Starr , Joe Cocker , George Harrison , the Rolling Stones , Ron Wood , Bill Wyman , Mick Jagger , Keith Richards , Charlie Watts , Bob Dylan , Joni Mitchell , Brian Wilson , Neil Young , Crowded House , Fiona Apple , Elvis Costello , Ry Cooder , Pink Floyd , Steely Dan , John Mayer and many others.

He was a member of Little Village and accompanied Joe Cocker , Bob Dylan , Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel on various tours. On November 29, 2002, he took part in the memorial concert for George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall . As a member of the all-star band Traveling Wilburys , he could be heard on both albums, as well as in some music videos. In the documentary film for the first album, Keltner was presented as "Buster Sidebury". As a result of his previous collaboration with Klaus Voormann , for example at the Concert for Bangladesh, he was also on the Voormann album A Sideman's Journey .

Jim Keltner's style is characterized by rhythm and blues. Simple and powerful basic patterns are varied with loose, often free-looking phrasing. One of Jim Keltner's specialties is to set accents in unusual, sometimes changing places in the meter. In 2016, Rolling Stone listed him 38th of the 100 best drummers of all time .

Discography (selection)

Individual evidence

  1. Howard Sounes: Down the Highway - The Life Of Bob Dylan Doubleday in 2001; P. 329. ISBN 0-552-99929-6
  2. Bruce Eder's artist résumé  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.allmusic.com  
  3. 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Rolling Stone , March 31, 2016, accessed August 6, 2017 .