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Philly Joe Jones Solo Book

Updated July 2019 – This post was originally posted in 2017. Two years later there’s a new version of The Philly Joe Jones Solo Book available with an additional 32 transcribed drum solos! I’ll list them at the bottom of this post.

The Philly Joe Jones Solo Book is well worth the $50 – $60 price tag. It was transcribed over the course of 10 years by Joerg Eckel, a student of John Riley’s.

There are over 320 380 pages of Philly Joe Jones drum solo transcriptions in the book. Each one includes stickings and lists the album that each solo is on.

You can get a copy at Memphis Drum Shop or Columbus Percussion. I’ve heard that Maxwell’s Drum Shop will be getting some copies as well.


Read on for details, photos and the list of solos included in the book.

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Art Taylor Interview

As part of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History Project, Warren Smith interviewed Art Taylor for 1 hour and 50 minutes! He sits at the drums briefly during the interview and tells a funny story. Be sure to catch that.

The entire interview is full of wonderful insights and he talks at length about the process of writing his book, Notes and Tones.

Notes and Tones

Notes and Tones book cover

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz.

It consists of 29 conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with the most influential jazz musicians of the ’60s and ’70s

Interviews include Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Don Cherry, Kenny Clarke, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Dizzy Gillespie, Hampton Hawes, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Carmen McRae, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone and Randy Weston.

I highly recommend buying a copy if you don’t have it.

When I was attending Berklee in Boston I was fortunate see Art Taylor play at the Regatta Bar and asked him to autograph my copy.

The expanded edition of Notes and Tones is supplemented with previously unpublished interviews with Dexter Gordon and Thelonious Monk, a new introduction by the author, and new photographs.

Here’s a bonus radio interview with Art Taylor on Eric in the Evening (WGBH Boston) from 1994.

Joe Chambers Interview

I think I first heard drummer Joe Chambers as part of Max Roach’s M’Boom or Wayne Shorter’s Adam’s Apple, but I’ll admit I didn’t check him out much beyond that until recently.

I’ve been digging into his discography after picking up a copy of Bobby Hutcherson’s album Total Eclipse. It’s a great album that features Harold Land, Chick Corea, Reggie Johnson and Joe Chambers and I’m glad it was recently reissued.

This interview from 2016 clocks in at 53 minutes and it’s worth sticking with the whole thing.

Herzog by Bobby Hutcherson

I’ve been into drummer Joe Chambers lately and picked up a copy of Bobby Hutcherson’s album Total Eclipse. It’s a great album that features Harold Land, Chick Corea, Reggie Johnson and Joe Chambers and I’m glad it was recently reissued.

I’m studying the song Herzog at the moment, which is the first track on Total Eclipse. It’s a complicated head and the solo form is tough until you can hear the chords.

Here’s how the solo section breaks down (in number of measures of 4/4):
8-8-3-3

8-8-3-3
3

The lead sheet is easy to find and is in The New Real Book, Vol. 3.

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing

The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing by David Berkman isn’t a drum book, but it’s one of my favorites of all time and I count it right up there with Kenny Werner’s Effortless Mastery.

What this book provides is a way to approach practicing that actually makes the best use of your time and helps you to avoid pitfalls.

I first heard about The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing from drummer Phil Hey, who studied extensively with Ed Blackwell.

When he told me to get the book, I did not take the recommendation lightly. That said, if you’re like me you might be thinking something like “I already know how to practice” or “I’ve got my own system that works.” I get it and I put off picking up this book for a long time, which I regret.

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing breaks down practicing many of the areas that jazz musicians struggle with in a way that makes them manageable and easier to master.

Some of the topics might lead you to believe that this isn’t a book for drummers. While it’s true that not every chapter will be as valuable for some, the book as a whole is wonderful. It’s filled with hundreds and hundreds of concrete things to work on, along with anecdotes illustrating the ideas presented.

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing covers a really wide range of topics:

  • Basic jazz theory, clearly explained
  • How to practice tunes
  • Rhythm, deep groove, metronomes and odd meter
  • How to play fast without losing your ability to make the notes sing

Once again, do yourself a favor and get this book.

David Berkman is also the author of the famed Jazz Harmony Book, which I got to help me with piano and writing tunes.

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