It is tempting, I know, to say that there’s some racist reason for this.
But I’m not sure. For one thing, Darryl Jones is a superb musician who had a thriving career before he joined Stones, having played with Miles Davis and Sting, and if the Stones should break up while he’s still on peak form as a player, he will doubtless go on to continued success. He’s almost certainly a better technical musician than any of the Stones themselves. He played with Miles Davis, you know? He knows how good he is.
I suspect Steve Hudson is right, too, when he says that the Stones are stingy. Paying him as a sideman is a lot cheaper than having to cut him into album and touring fees. But I am fairly sure they pay him well; if they didn’t, he wouldn’t have been their on-call bass player for this long.
I also suspect that it’s two things: the Stones don’t want another full-time member, and Jones doesn’t want to be one. If they bring him in as a full member, they have to include him in band decisions and the Stones are a fractious bunch, whereas he seems not to want that kind of aggravation in his life: Darryl Jones: The unknown Stone – BBC News
He’s also a busy man. He has other projects on the go all the time, and I imagine that he’s content to take the paycheck, likes playing the songs, likes playing in front of crowds vastly bigger than most jazz musicians get to play for, and is quite happy to not have the responsibility of being a goddamn Rolling Stone, at a time in their career when most people think the Stones have little left to offer, and yet everything they do matters, because they’re them.
If I were him, I would be delighted to go on tour playing songs that people want to hear, or play on the very infrequent albums, and not have to suffer the crippling burden of actually being a full Rolling Stone. He’s Darryl Jones. It’s not like he has to prove himself at this point.
I guess what I’m saying is: even if they wanted him, I’m not at all sure he’d say yes.