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Philly Joe Jones Biography

Joseph Rudolph Jones, 15 July 1923, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 30 August 1985, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Jones began his drumming career in his home town, later moving to New York where he worked with many leading bebop musicians. Despite this early exposure to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and other innovators, Jones was able to adapt to the stylistic needs of any group in which he played. Although proficient in bands led by mainstreamers such as Ben Webster and Lionel Hampton he was happiest in his many fruitful associations with modernists, among whom were Tadd Dameron, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. His tenure with Davis occupied a substantial slice of the 50s; in the following decade he played and recorded with Gil Evans, Bill Evans and led his own groups. In the late 60s he lived briefly in the UK, playing with musicians such as Kenny Wheeler and Pete King and also teaching. In the early 80s Jones formed the band Dameronia, with which to play the music of his former associate. Whether subtly encouraging or with sustained power, often working with a minimal, scaled-down drum kit, Jones was able to adjust his playing style to accommodate any group or individual.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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