Chapter

Jo Jones (1911–1989)

Jo Jones

in Drumminʼ Men

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780195157628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849468 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157628.003.0005
Jo Jones (1911–1989)

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Jo Jones was slick. A handsome man with a highly expressive face and communicative eyes, he had “the look of a matinee idol”, particularly in the early years with the Basie band. Lean, lithe, an erect, commanding figure at the drums, Jones was marvelously visual. He also had wide-ranging experience in reaching audiences; he knew every trick in the book. Beyond the surface characteristics, the “show business” of Jo Jones was his work. The man was serious and deeply dedicated. His great natural talent for the instrument, and his need to keep learning and to excel, made for a powerful combination. Jones's impact, particularly during the peak years with Count Basie, essentially stemmed from a flair for the unexpected and unusual, a firm, individual sense of time, and the capacity to be convincing and inspiring.

Keywords: Jo Jones; Count Basie; Basie band; Roy Eldridge

Chapter.  18806 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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