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Papa Jo Jones - Drum Solo Artist

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KenSanders
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« on: May 20, 2010, 09:06:08 PM »

I want to share something from the DSA Jazz Group here on the Forum.  I am doing this because in a recent discussion with some students, I was amazed that they had not heard of jo Jones. Obviously, since they didn't know anything about him, they had no idea how much he influenced modern drumming.   Shocked


The Godfather of Modern Drumming

Daz Canny (CANNYD) shared some clips of Papa Jo Jones with me.  WOW…..they are definitely worth watching.  You can find them at this link:

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Papa_Joe_Jones.html

One more thing, do not confuse Jo Jones with Philly Joe Jones.  They are two different people.  Roll Eyes

I had written, in a previous DSA post, that Papa Jo Jones was the drummer who basically “invented” so much of our modern drum kit playing techniques.  Others drummers went to see him perform and to try and learn to do what HE was doing.  They mimicked his style.  Including an up-and-coming young drummer named Buddy Rich….who patterned a lot of his solo style after the drumming of Papa Jo Jones.

 
Papa Jo Jones was also known as “Mr. Hi Hat”.  His use of that strange new invention back in 1926 actually changed drum kit playing forever.  He was the first drummer to switch time keeping from the ride cymbal to the hi hat.  Other drummers then started to ditch their “Low Boy” sock cymbals and rush out to get a “Hi Hat” after hearing what Papa Jo Jones was doing!  That was a paradigm shift for the world of drumming! 

In an era before drummers were considered “real” musicians Papa Jo Jones changed that mindset.  Not only that, but he played drum solos….another new thing that drummers just didn’t do!

Listen to his playing in the clips on the link referenced above.  You will hear his creativity unfold as he uses, rolling fingers, hand slaps, cross stick playing, rim shots, hand over hand cross-overs on the drum kit.  And his drum set had TWO floor toms…..one to the right and one to the left.  So that's not a sudden recent trend for the drum kit after all is it?

His syncopated rhythms and use incredible use of sensitive dynamics are still impressive today.  But as Daz pointed out………..above everything else……Papa Jo Jones played with a genuine happiness demonstrated by the big smile on his face and the sparkle in his eyes.

Again Daz………….thanks for sharing these links!

Without the impact of Jo Jones’ adventurous approach to that evolving new instrument called a “drum set”;  who would have influenced Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, Max Roach, Kenny Clarke and Roy Haynes? Papa Jo Jones was the man who inspired those legendary drummers!

A “complete” musician?
One should also note that Jo Jones was also accomplished on piano and saxophone.

Jo Jones joined Count Basie's band in 1933. Jones, Basie, guitarist Freddie Green and bassist Walter Page are considered as one of the more important rhythm sections in jazz. They are certainly worth listening, even today, by any serious jazz musician.

Well, I hope you found this worth reading.  Jo Jones inventive styles have absorbed into our drumming concepts and they are still alive in so many of us.  Cool




* joejones[1].jpg (15.9 KB, 450x462 - viewed 590 times.)
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 09:52:43 AM »

I guess Ken I sometimes marvel at the lack of depth in other drummers catalogs. There are SO many variations in drummers that knowing one certain genre can limit our imaginations. ( or at least for me ) I think that's why I listen to everything, much to the shagrin of some people. My media player stays on shuffle all the time and I cover all aspects of music. From ABBA to Zepplin, Beethoven To Liszt, Meditation to World, etc. I can go from Metallica to Beethoven at any time, quite interesting sometimes. I encourage anyone out there to expand your catalogs exponentionaly to inspire your playing to new heights. I'd like to add also that smiling and having fun behind your kit can make a world of difference for your playing & make the band look good.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 12:44:47 PM »

Sounds like our recorded music collection is very similair. I, too, listen to lots of very different kinds of music to expand my musical vocabulary and my knowledge of ways to perform different styles .  It is exactly as you say, absurd to limit our minds and ears to only one genre.

My initial post in this thread was to point out that Jo Jones was directly responsible for so much of the concepts for modern drum set playing.

Your comments about absorbing performance inspiration from a variety of musical genres is right on target.   
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 10:34:38 PM »

This is a 1957 clip that is VERY SERIOUSLY cool.

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/papajojonesjatp57.html
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 12:40:35 PM »

Yes Ken I got a little over zealous, I apologize. Lips sealed
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KenSanders
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 01:52:16 PM »

Insert Quote
Yes Ken I got a little over zealous, I apologize.

I think that went right over my head Vista......maybe my old brain is slow today.  What's the apology about?

I thought your comments about listening to all sorts of music were good advice.  For years I've encouraged students to listen to everything, and not become a one-dimensional musician.

Maybe I missed something  Roll Eyes
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Ken Sanders
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