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Philly Joe: Apex of Hard Bop with 3 Drums, 1 Cymbal

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#1
Scott K Fish

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Philly Joe: Apex of Hard Bop with 3 Drums, 1 Cymbal

 

 

SKF NOTE: Somewhere there's a Tony Williams quote about Miles Davis's Milestones being at the apex of hard bop albums. It is a great album: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Red Garland, and Philly Joe Jones.

 

The one Milestones cut that is must listening for drummers is Billy Boy. The track is a trio date: Garland, Chambers, Jones. No horns. For as long as I can remember, this version of Billy Boy has been a model for trio drumming, for brush playing, and for creative drum soloing.

 

And not that Tony Williams's opinion on what is at the apex of hard bop albums needs my agreement, but Milestones is a killer.

 

Now, I was reminded by two photos recently posted on The Great Drummer's Group Facebook page of something that amazed me when I first studied the same photos, years ago, in the Milestones CD booklet.

 

These photos were taken during the Milestones recording session. They show Philly Joe on a three-piece drumset with just one ride cymbal and a hi-hat. A music stand is positioned where his small tom and crash cymbal would be.

 

jones_philly_joe.jpg?w=640

 

Did Philly Joe really record the apex of hard bop albums with that three-piece drumset and one ride cymbal? I think so. I've re-listened to the album and come to that conclusion. Maybe an audio expert can prove otherwise.

 

But, I think what listeners hear on Milestones is the drumset shown in these photos. Take a listen to Billy Boy and see what I mean.

 

 

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals

 

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#2
rondrums51

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Very possible. I never noticed before, but I only hear one tom on those fours.

 

Philly Joe pretty much set the bar for every other jazz drummer.


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#3
drummerbill

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 While studying brushes with Sal LaRocca as a young man, he had me get Milestones.

 That whole album enlightened me in so many ways. Then 4 And More.  ;-)

 Philly's brush playing was off the hook.

 I have a photo copy of his long out of print brush book, which is an American treasure !   IMHO


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#4
nomsgmusic

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Bill,

 

Being a NJ guy, you'll appreciate his story. About 25 years ago I stopped in Richie's Music (on 46,) I had never been in there, as I was semi new to NNJ. I paged through their bin of books, and ran across several copies of the PJJ Brush book. I too had a photo copy for years that I practiced out of... But there it was!!!! And there was like 10 of them. I took one up to the counter to ask how much it was and the clerk looked at the price on the back (somewhere between 3 and 5 bucks) and said that was the price!!! I bought them ALL.

 

The bad news is this was pre-internet and ebay days, and in the last 25 years I have given them away to many of my drum playing friends, mentors, and inspirations. I now have one left. Oh well, they were all gifts to guys who were very important to me, but I probably could have made a mint.

 

Now I (and many others) would LOVE to see copies of Volume 2, that apparently lies with Don Sickler, who has "mentioned" releasing it for years now... Who knows if he ever will.

 

Back to the original topic, as someone who has gone over that recording with several fine-toothed combs. Yes, that is the size of the set that PJJ played on that recording. (Although I don't know if that specific picture is from that date.) PJJ was famous for pawning drums and cymbals, and rarely showing up to two gigs with the same set.

 

And Scott, Tony called that recording "The PERFECT jazz recording." (I have that quote somewhere and have used it many times in my writings., he also said it to me in conversation at a record date as well.) I think we can ALL agree on that!!!!

 

MSG


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#5
Blaze148

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I came into possession of his 1961 Playboy Jazz Allstars Drummer of the Year award in the 70's.
He never claimed it. Probably didn't care. I kept it for 35 years and finally donated it to Paissic.
I also met him in the early 60's and talked about lessons. He scared me away after a 2 minute conversation.
Will never forget it. Who knows how I would have turned out ???
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#6
Scott K Fish

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Blaze148 -

 

What scared you?

 

Best,

skf


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#7
A J

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Check out the old water pipe components used for a mic stand.  I don't feel so bad about some of my home made contraptions!  :headbang:


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#8
Blaze148

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Blaze148 -
 
What scared you?
 
Best,
skf

He may not have been in a good mood ? He looked me in the eye after the intro and said you can't play for sh-----t
Of course he was right, but I didn't have the guts to go through with it and got on the subway back to The Bronx.
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#9
kip

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man, i LOVED Philly Joe's playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#10
Scott K Fish

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Blaze148 -

 

What a great memory. Thank you.

 

Best,

skf


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#11
Drumstickdude

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Thanks for posting this, amazing stuff, god what a player/players, I think I realy need to try and get this album, I wonder if it's available on cd.
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#12
Scott K Fish

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Drumstickdude -

 

Milestones on CD

 

Best,

skf


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#13
Drumstickdude

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Thanks.
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#14
budrock

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Philly Joe: Apex of Hard Bop with 3 Drums, 1 Cymbal

 

 

SKF NOTE: Somewhere there's a Tony Williams quote about Miles Davis's Milestones being at the apex of hard bop albums. It is a great album: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Red Garland, and Philly Joe Jones.

 

The one Milestones cut that is must listening for drummers is Billy Boy. The track is a trio date: Garland, Chambers, Jones. No horns. For as long as I can remember, this version of Billy Boy has been a model for trio drumming, for brush playing, and for creative drum soloing.

 

And not that Tony Williams's opinion on what is at the apex of hard bop albums needs my agreement, but Milestones is a killer.

 

Now, I was reminded by two photos recently posted on The Great Drummer's Group Facebook page of something that amazed me when I first studied the same photos, years ago, in the Milestones CD booklet.

 

These photos were taken during the Milestones recording session. They show Philly Joe on a three-piece drumset with just one ride cymbal and a hi-hat. A music stand is positioned where his small tom and crash cymbal would be.

 

jones_philly_joe.jpg?w=640

 

Did Philly Joe really record the apex of hard bop albums with that three-piece drumset and one ride cymbal? I think so. I've re-listened to the album and come to that conclusion. Maybe an audio expert can prove otherwise.

 

But, I think what listeners hear on Milestones is the drumset shown in these photos. Take a listen to Billy Boy and see what I mean.

 

 

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals

 

 

Is that a Gretsch snare/kit?


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#15
phillyjoe1205

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I was also fortunate to grab an actual copy of that book Brush Artisty put out by Premier.

 

Very interesting thought. I think there are two toms although tuned closly in pitch. Youve made me listen real closey to the fours.....again. hahah Please correct me if Im wrong. The photo does have the mic set up above the drums though.

 

Listen to the fours at the 4:55 mark. Unless he's hitting his bass and tom then it really sounds like he hits two different toms. He makes the two different tom hits on the 1st phrase and then only one tom hit the 2nd helping there. 

 

What I find MORE interesting than that if thats possible (and never noticed before) is that if you listen real closly after those fours at the 5:02 mark right after it sounds like he says "dammit"......like he missed the 2nd tom hit. hummmmmmmmmm


Edited by phillyjoe1205, 12 December 2015 - 08:41 PM.

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#16
cennay

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And one mic


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#17
OZjazzer

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And one mic


That is also amazing. Columbia really had a good thing going back then.

It begs the question, have we gone forward or backwards with drum recordings?

For my money this album and the Round Midnight album are two of the finest examples of drum/cymbal recordings ever made, better in fact than the much talked about Rudy Van Gelder Prestige albums Davis made at the same time.
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#18
Scott K Fish

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Van Gelder was the best at recording Tony and Elvin. Superb.

Best, skf
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#19
rondrums51

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And one mic


That is also amazing. Columbia really had a good thing going back then.

It begs the question, have we gone forward or backwards with drum recordings?

For my money this album and the Round Midnight album are two of the finest examples of drum/cymbal recordings ever made, better in fact than the much talked about Rudy Van Gelder Prestige albums Davis made at the same time.

 

I think Columbia had the best recording equipment or something. I always noticed that the Miles Columbia records had the best sound quality. The Prestige, not so good.


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