(1911 - 1985)
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.
After growing up in Alabama, Jones worked as a drummer and tap-dancer with carnival
shows. He joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in Oklahoma City in the late '20s. After a period
with Lloyd Hunter's band in Nebraska, Jones moved to Kansas City in 1933, joining Count
Basie's band the following year. He went with Basie to New York in 1936 and with Count,
Freddie Green and Walter Page he formed one of the great rhythm sections. Jones was with
the Basie band (other than 1944-46 when he was in the military) until 1948 and in later years
he participated in many reunions with Basie alumni.
He was on some Jazz at the Philharmonic tours and recorded in the 1950s with Illinois Jacquet,
Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington among others;
Jones appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival with both Basie and the Coleman
Hawkins-Roy Eldridge Sextet. Jo Jones led sessions for Vanguard (1955 and 1959) and
Everest (1959-60), a date for Jazz Odyssey on which he reminisced and played drum solos
1970) and mid-'70s sessions for Pablo and Denon. In later years he was known as "Papa" Jo
Jones and thought of as a wise if brutally frank elder statesman.
Source: Scott Yanow; allmusic.com
Count Basie - Papa Jo Jones
Buddy Rich, Papa Jo Jones, Gene Krupa
Teddy Wilson - Lester Young - Papa Jo Jones
Buddy - Papa Jo Jones - Freddy Gruber