Morris Jennings | Jennings Family
Chess Treasures is sad to learn of the passing of legendary Chess drummer Morris Jennings, who has died aged 77 of natural causes on June 3rd 2016.
Mr Jennings can be heard on records by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Ramsey Lewis.
“He was on several of my albums,” said Ramsey Lewis. “I’m sure he was on not only a couple that went gold, but a couple that won Grammys.” Lewis described him as rock solid and versatile. “Morris Jennings was like the Rock of Gibraltar. He kept almost perfect time.”
Jennings was born in East St. Louis, but moved with his family to Chicago when he was just a toddler and graduated from DuSable High School, where he became interested in music. He was in his early 20s when he started working for Chess. Gene Barge was a staff member with Chess in charge of the rhythm section that included Jennings and Maurice White.
“He was our drummer for a good while at Chess,” Barge said. “He was just a dedicated musician. He wasn’t fancy, he was just very good.”