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Philly Joe Jones

Philly Joe Jones

American jazz drummer
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Drummer Jazz musician
Countries United States of America
A.K.A. Joseph Rudolph Jones
Gender male
Birth July 15, 1923 (Philadelphia)
Death August 30, 1985 (Philadelphia)
The details

Joseph Rudolph "Philly Joe" Jones (July 15, 1923 – August 30, 1985) was a Philadelphia-born American jazz drummer, known as the drummer for the first "Great" Miles Davis Quintet. He is sometimes confused with another influential jazz drummer, Papa Jo Jones. The two died only a few days apart.


Early career

As a child, Jones appeared as a featured tap dancer on The Kiddie Show on the Philadelphia radio Station WIP. He was in the army during World War II.

In 1947 he became the house drummer at Café Society in New York City, where he played with the leading bebop players of the day. Among them, the most important influence on Jones was Tadd Dameron. Jones toured and recorded with Miles Davis Quintet from 1955 to 1958—a band that became known as "The Quintet" (along with Red Garland on piano, John Coltrane on sax, and Paul Chambers on bass). Davis acknowledged that Jones was his favorite drummer, and stated in his autobiography that he would always listen for Jones in other drummers.

From 1958 Jones worked as a leader, but continued to work as a sideman with other musicians, including Bill Evans and Hank Mobley. Evans, like Davis, also openly stated that Jones was his all-time favorite drummer.


Between late 1967 and 1972 Jones lived in London and Paris, performing and recording with musicians including Archie Shepp, Mal Wadron and Hank Mobley. For two years (1967–69) Jones taught at a specially organized school in Hampstead, London, but was prevented from otherwise working in the UK by the Musicians' Union. His 1968 album Mo' Joe (also released as Trailways Express) was recorded in London with local musicians (including Peter King, Harold McNair, Chris Pyne, Kenny Wheeler and others).

Later years

After returning to Philadelphia, Jones led a fusion group called Le Grand Prix, toured with Bill Evans in 1976, recorded for Galaxy in 1977–79, and worked with Red Garland.

From 1981 he helped to found the group Dameronia, dedicated to the music of the composer Tadd Dameron, and led it until his death. He also played in two movies.

Jones died in 1985 of a heart attack at home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62. He was survived by his wife and son. Jones' "combination of deep-toned tom-tom and bass drums with subtle swirls of cross-rhythm on cymbals was widely imitated".


As leader

  • 1958: Blues for Dracula (Riverside)
  • 1959: Drums Around the World (Riverside)
  • 1959: Showcase (Riverside)
  • 1960: Philly Joe's Beat (Atlantic)
  • 1961: Together! (Atlantic) – with Elvin Jones
  • 1968: Mo' Joe (Black Lion)
  • 1977: Mean What You Say (Sonet)
  • 1977: Philly Mignon (Galaxy)
  • 1978: Drum Songs (Galaxy)
  • 1979: Advance! (Galaxy)
  • 1980: Round Midnight
  • 1981: Octet (Marge)
  • 1982: To Tadd with Love (Uptown)

As sideman

With Chris Anderson

  • Inverted Image (Jazzland, 1961)

With Chet Baker

  • Chet Baker in New York (Riverside, 1958)
  • Chet Baker Introduces Johnny Pace (Riverside, 1958) – with Johnny Pace

With Evans Bradshaw

  • Look Out for Evans Bradshaw! (Riverside, 1958)

With Clifford Brown

  • Memorial Album (Blue Note, 1953)

With Kenny Burrell

  • Ellington Is Forever Volume Two (Fantasy, 1975)

With Joe Castro

  • Mood Jazz (Atlantic, 1957)

With Serge Chaloff

  • Blue Serge (Capitol, 1956)

With Sonny Clark

  • Cool Struttin' (Blue Note, 1958)

With John Coltrane

  • Blue Train (Blue Note, 1957)

With Miles Davis

  • The Musings of Miles (Prestige, 1955)
  • Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1956)
  • Cookin' with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1956)
  • Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1956)
  • Workin' with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1956)
  • Steamin' with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1956)
  • 'Round About Midnight (Columbia, 1957)
  • Porgy and Bess (Columbia, 1958)
  • Milestones (Columbia, 1958)
  • Someday My Prince Will Come (Columbia, 1961)

With Kenny Drew

  • Kenny Drew Trio (Riverside, 1956)
  • Pal Joey (Riverside, 1957)

With Bill Evans

  • Everybody Digs Bill Evans (Riverside, 1958)
  • California Here I Come (Verve, 1967)
  • Interplay (Riverside, 1962)
  • Quintessence (Fantasy, 1976)

With Art Farmer

  • Art Farmer Quintet featuring Gigi Gryce (Prestige, 1955)
  • Brass Shout (United Artists, 1959)

With Red Garland

  • Red's Good Groove (Jazzland, 1962)
  • Keystones! (Xanadu, 1977)

With Benny Golson

  • The Other Side of Benny Golson (Riverside, 1958)
  • Benny Golson and the Philadelphians (United Artists, 1958)

With Dexter Gordon

  • Dexter Calling... (Blue Note, 1961)

With Bennie Green

  • Bennie Green with Art Farmer – with Art Farmer (1956)

With Johnny Griffin

  • Way Out – with Johnny Griffin (1959)

With Ernie Henry

  • Seven Standards and a Blues (Riverside, 1957)
  • Last Chorus (Riverside, 1956–57)

With Elmo Hope

  • The Elmo Hope Trio (Blue Note, 1953)
  • Here's Hope! (Celebrity, 1961)
  • High Hope! (Beacon, 1961)
  • Homecoming! (Riverside, 1961)
  • Sounds from Rikers Island (Audio Fidelity, 1963)
  • The Final Sessions (Evidence, 1966 [1996])

With Freddie Hubbard

  • Goin' Up (Blue Note, 1960)
  • Hub Cap (Blue Note, 1961)
  • Here to Stay (Blue Note, 1962)

With Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery

  • Bags Meets Wes! (Riverside, 1962)

With Duke Jordan

  • Duke's Artistry (SteepleChase, 1978)
  • The Great Session (SteepleChase, 1978 [1981])

With Abbey Lincoln

  • It's Magic (Riverside, 1958)
  • Abbey Is Blue (Riverside, 1959)

With Herbie Mann

  • Salute to the Flute (Epic, 1957)
  • Herbie Mann's African Suite (United Artists, 1959)

With Howard McGhee

  • The Return of Howard McGhee (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • That Bop Thing (Affinity, 1982)

With Blue Mitchell

  • Big 6 (Riverside, 1958)
  • Smooth as the Wind (Riverside, 1961)

With Hank Mobley

  • Hank (Blue Note, 1957)
  • Poppin' (Blue Note, 1957)
  • Workout (Blue Note, 1961)
  • Another Workout (Blue Note, 1961)
  • No Room for Squares (Blue Note, 1963)

With J. R. Monterose

  • J. R. Monterose (Blue Note, 1956)

With Phineas Newborn, Jr.

  • Phineas' Rainbow (RCA Victor, 1956)
  • A World of Piano! (Contemporary, 1961)

With Art Pepper

  • Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Contemporary, 1957)

With Bud Powell

  • Time Waits (Blue Note, 1958)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Tenor Madness (Riverside, 1956)
  • Newk's Time (Blue Note, 1957)

With Archie Shepp

  • Blasé - (BYG Actuel, 1969)
  • Archie Shepp & Philly Joe Jones – (America, 1969)

With Jimmy Smith

  • Softly as a Summer Breeze (Blue Note, 1958)

With Sonny Stitt

  • Sonny Stitt & the Top Brass (Atlantic, 1962)

With Clark Terry

  • Serenade to a Bus Seat (Riverside, 1957)
  • In Orbit (Riverside, 1958)

With Ben Webster

  • Soulmates (Riverside, 1963) – with Joe Zawinul

With Jack Wilson

  • The Two Sides of Jack Wilson (Atlantic, 1964)

With Phil Woods

  • Pairing Off (Prestige, 1956)

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