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
Continue reading “Philly Joe Jones Solo Book (update)”

Max Roach Klactoveesedstene

I hadn’t heard this alternate version of “Klact-oveeseds-tene” by Charlie Parker until Billy Hart mentioned the Max Roach solo drum break during his incredible interview with Pablo Held.

After a lot of searching, I tracked it down on disc 5 of Charlie Parker’s Complete Savoy And Dial Studio Recordings box set and then on YouTube (above).

Here’s a quick transcription that I did of Max Roach’s 8 bar solo break, which is a 4 bar phrase played twice.

I worked on it by simply singing the phrase over and over with the recording, tapping my foot or snapping on 2 & 4. After that I brought it to the kit to work on different voicings and adding accents.

It’s also a nice phrase to work on with a ride cymbal pattern and you can even try moving the bass drum notes over to the hi-hat foot.

Have fun!

Charlie Parker Complete Savoy And Dial Studio Recordings

Signal Boost: Brian Blade

To drummers reading this, I hope that Brian Blade needs no introduction.

Brian is currently raising funds for the following projects:

  1. A new recording by The Fellowship Band Kings Highway
  2. The Hallelujah Train recording and documentary
  3. The debut recording of LifeCycles
  4. An archival live recording of The Fellowship Band
  5. The reissue of The Fellowship Band Season of Changes
  6. The reissue of the Mama Rosa album

If you have the means, you can donate here.

March 26/27 – Kenny & Joe

Here’s a quick post to give a heads up about a couple of things I’m especially excited about this weekend.

Kenny Washington

Bill Charlap Trio

The Bill Charlap Trio is streaming from Smoke both Friday and Saturday nights! This means we’ll get up close with the great Kenny Washington. Get your tickets here.

Joe Farnsworth

Joe Farnsworth

On Saturday, it’s time to swing with Joe Farnsworth. He’s presenting an online master class in the afternoon. You can sign up and find more info here.

If you can’t make it or if you simply missed Quincy Davis’ interview with Joe, you can find that on Instagram. Quincy has been killing it lately with his Drummer 2 Drummer series and I can barely keep up. So much good stuff over there!

Feed the Second Line

If after all of this you still have money left, please consider donating to Feed the Second Line. They’re doing important work in New Orleans to make sure that the musicians are fed and supported during this time of very limited work.

Ralph Peterson

Ralph Peterson by Clara Pereira
Photo by by Clara Pereira

It’s a sad week. Master drummer and musician Ralph Peterson passed away on March 1st at the young age of 58.

I remember being obsessed with his instructional DVD, which was also the first time I heard a young Melissa Aldana. In the spirit of Art Blakey, Ralph was committed to carrying on the tradition of mentoring young musicians.

I’ve been a fan of Ralph’s for as long as I can remember, but only got to see him play live once.

In 2018 I met John Riley at the Manhattan School of Music for a lesson. As we were walking down the hall, we could hear drumming in the distance. As we got closer and realized where the sound was coming from, John was concerned and remarked “nobody should be in my office.”

When John opened the door to his office, there was Ralph Peterson, helping a student prepare for a gig. What a surprise! I said hello and told him I was a big fan.

Later that week I made my way over to the Jazz Standard for a Geri Allen tribute concert that Ralph put together with Luques Curtis and Orrin Evans. We spoke briefly after the show and I left with such warm feelings.

Rest in peace, Ralph.