Philly Joe Jones Solo Book (update)

Since my original post in 2017 there has been a major update to the Philly Joe Jones solo book, so I decided that it’s time to make a new post and give some additional info.

Philly Joe Jones Solo Book cover

The first thing you’ll notice is that the cover has been updated with a modern and full color design, but the real update is that there are 60 new pages! There are now over 380 pages of Philly Joe Jones drum solo transcriptions in the book.

The Philly Joe Jones Solo Book is well worth the $60 price tag. The solos were transcribed over the course of 10+ years by Joerg Eckel, a student of John Riley’s and a really nice guy!

Using the book

Each transcription includes suggested stickings and lists the album that each solo is on. It’s my understanding that Joerg worked with John Riley and Kenny Washington to figure out common stickings that Philly Joe used.

In 2020, the Memphis Drum Shop had John Riley in to show off his cymbal collection and while he was there he also talked about the Philly Joe Jones solo book by Joerg Eckel. John does a great job demonstrating some of the stickings used in the book and it will give you a good overview.

I typically learn the solos by ear and then use the transcriptions to check myself or get help with a sticking if I’m fumbling too much, but I usually try to get the sound of each phrase in my own hands instead of forcing something that might feel awkward for me.

Philly Joe’s strong rudimental foundation:

It’s well known that Philly Joe Jones worked out of the Charley Wilcoxon Modern Rudimental Swing Solos book religiously and Kenny Washington also speaks incredibly highly of that book. If you don’t have it, get it!

Sample page

The transcriptions are copies of handwritten music charts and might be harder to read for some people, but don’t let that be a dealbreaker. When I’m working on a solo, I’ll typically scan the page in so I can load it on my iPad and zoom in. I’ve sometimes made an enlarged & darker photocopy so I can make notes and mark up the pages.

Here’s a sample page from the book that Joerg gave me permission to share:

Pot Luck solo transcription page

Where to buy the book

Memphis Drum Shop, Steve Maxwell Drum Shop, and Columbus Percussion have the new version of the book in stock. Whether you have the original version or not, the new one is worth getting!

If you live outside of the United States and can’t find it online, you can likely order it from the author directly. Leave a comment or send an email to me and I’ll do my best to connect you.

Table of contents

Here are a couple of photos of the table of contents, listing all of the Philly Joe Jones drum solo transcriptions in the book. I’ll also list them out as text below.

Philly Joe Jones Solo Book table of contents 1
Philly Joe Jones Solo Book table of contents 2
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Philly Joe Jones Solo Book with John Riley

The Memphis Drum Shop recently had John Riley in to show off his cymbal collection and while he was there he also talked about the great Philly Joe Jones solo book by Joerg Eckel. It’s always great to hear John play and he does a good job here demonstrating some of the stickings used in the book.

The new and updated version of the book is now officially available. Just to be clear, the black cover is the new version.

Memphis Drum Shop, Steve Maxwell Drum Shop, and Columbus Percussion have the new version of the book in stock. Whether you have the original version or not, the new one is worth getting!

Philly Joe Jones Solo Book

Update August 2021 – There is a new post with updated photos and a full table of contents that lists every solo included in the 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.

Continue reading “Philly Joe Jones Solo Book”

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.

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.

Continue reading “The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Creative Practicing”