The Story of The Rolling Stones’ Longtime Bass Player
Directed by Eric Hamburg
Starring Darryl Jones, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts
Released October 7th, 2022
Since 1993, Darryl Jones has played bass for the Rolling Stones. He’s recorded bass parts for every album and played on every tour since ’93 with the legends, cementing his place in rock and roll history as a bass player beyond reproach. It’s no easy task replacing an iconic player like Bill Wyman, but Jones has managed to earn the respect and adoration of Stones fans worldwide, with his mastery of his instrument shining through on studio recordings and in live concerts.
In this new documentary released by Kino Lorber, we learn about Jones’ childhood in the south side of Chicago. In a series of candid, easygoing interviews, Jones explains how as a young man he viewed the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party as positive influences on his neighborhood. He says he was raised in a “two radio house” because his father would listen to jazz and his mother preferred contemporary music such as Curtis Mayfield and James Brown.
Jones started playing bass guitar very young, and by the time he was twelve he was playing jazz gigs with adult musicians in bars around town. With such natural talent on display at such a young age, Jones became well-known around Chicago as he played gig after gig for the next few years, eventually befriending and playing with Miles Davis’ nephew, Vincent Wilburn, Jr. When Jones was just twenty-one years old, he received a phone call that would change his life, with Miles Davis asking him to join his band. Since that monumental moment, Jones has recorded and/or toured with Davis, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Ziggy Marley, and many other notable artists. He famously joined the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band, The Rolling Stones, in 1993.
While the film isn’t visually dazzling, we are treated to some great footage of Jones playing with Miles Davis, Sting, Madonna, and the Stones. Unfortunately, these clips are short, sometimes only seconds long. If the clips had been extended it would benefit the film greatly, as we’d get to hear the great bass playing that all the interviewees are telling us Jones is known for. It boggles the mind how little of Jones’ playing is in the film. Instead of a runtime of 86 minutes, why not stretch out the film by ten minutes or so to give the archival music clips time to be appreciated. Darryl Jones: In the Blood is a worthwhile documentary that could have been so much better.
Kino Lorber’s release is a bare bones DVD with no special features, unless you consider trailers for random films a special feature. How wonderful it would have been had the disc included extras such as music videos or live performances featuring Darryl Jones. Since Jones is a producer on the film, you’d think he would have included full performances of some of his work.
Some of the notables interviewed for the documentary include Bernard Fowler, Lisa Fischer, Chuck Leavell, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, the late Charlie Watts, and Steve Jordan, who took over drums for the Stones after Watts passed away. Rolling Stones merchandise since 1993 has featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts. It’s always puzzled me that Darryl Jones isn’t included. C’mon, Stones merch department! It’s beyond time to include Darryl Jones. While you’re at it, put Steve Jordan on your t-shirts and posters and tour merch too. Let’s hear it for the new guys. Music is in their blood.