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Papa Jo Jones: “I Found a New Chapeau” and “Caravan”

Papa Jo Jones, one of the greatest jazz drummers, appears in the remarkable video above. It is part one of Louis Panassié’s “L’Aventure du Jazz.” “I Found a New Chapeau” features Jones and Milt Buckner. The second song, Mr.  X, features George Benson and a great tap dancer named Jimmy Slyde in addition to Jones. Please check it out.

The version of “Caravan” below is a bit more traditional but none the less great. Jones’ drum solo is amazing.

Those uninitiated to the wonders of drumming — I never have figured out the good from the bad due to my almost total lack of anything resembling rhythm — can pick up a bit from the first paragraph from a short profile at AllMusic:

Jo Jones shifted the timekeeping role of the drums from the bass drum to the hi-hat cymbal, greatly influencing all swing and bop drummers. Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson were just two who learned from his light but forceful playing, as Jones swung the Count Basie Orchestra with just the right accents and sounds. (Continue Reading…)

Wikipedia has the bio, who was considered a mainstay of Count Basie’s band:

Born Jonathan David Samuel Jones in Chicago, Illinois, he moved to Alabama where he learned to play several instruments, including saxophone, piano, and drums. He worked as a drummer and tap-dancer at carnival shows until joining Walter Page‘s band, the Blue Devils in Oklahoma City in the late 1920s. He recorded with trumpeter Lloyd Hunter‘s Serenaders in 1931, and later joined pianist’s Count Basie‘s band in 1934. Jones, Basie, guitarist Freddie Green and bassist Walter Page were sometimes billed as an “All-American Rhythm section”, an ideal team. Jones took a brief break for two years when he was in the military, but he remained with Basie until 1948. He participated in the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series. (Continue Reading…)

Wikipedia adds that Jones often was confused with another great jazz drummer, Philly Joe Jones.

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵

The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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