Jo Jones Centennial
Gene Krupa described Jo Jones as "the sound of Count Basie." Jones was the drummer of the Count Basie Orchestra from its inception around 1933 until 1948, the anchor of the band's legendary "All-American Rhythm Section," and one of the most influential figures in jazz history. More than any other drummer, it was Jones who shifted from the practice of maintaining a four-to-the-bar beat on the bass drum and bringing it up to the hi-hat cymbal. That was a key innovation in establishing a lighter, more airborne feel to jazz, and helped propel the new idiom of jump blues as well. Jones, it was said, played like the wind, and his powerful drive and perfectly timed accents inspired the solo flights of Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday and many other jazz greats.
(Note: Jo Jones should not be confused with Philly Joe Jones, the drummer who came to prominence in the 1950's with The Miles Davis Quintet.)
And here's Papa Jo with a Count Basie led all-star aggregation playing "Dickie's Dream." This is from the television special "The Sound of Jazz." All of the players are identified by name, but watch especially for the rarely seen Joe Wilder, and the neat framing of bassist Eddie Jones behind Dicky Wells's trombone solo.
Finally, here's Max Roach's wonderful tribute to Papa Jo. You may recall this as an audience favorite that Max would play at the Brights Moments Festival at UMass every summer