Here’s a quick plug for The Jazz Gallery Summer Pass. It’s just $60 and gets you either a seat in person or a free streaming pass for all shows in July and August 2023.
Not only is this a great deal (streaming passes are usually $20 per show) but the list of shows and musicians is pretty exciting. I’ll just list a handful of the drummers you’ll be able to check out: Dan Weiss, Brian Blade, JK Kim, Miguel Russell, Adam Cruz, Nasheet Waits, Kayvon Gordon, Jimmy Macbride, and many others.
Don’t miss out on this deal.
This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m just really excited about Jazz Gallery’s summer programming.
For years my friend and mentor, drummer Phil Hey, has been telling me about the 1973 Gretsch Drum Summit in Central Park that he was lucky enough to attend. I’ve often daydreamed about being there and how unbelievable it would be to see Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis, Freddie Waits, and Papa Joe Jones all in the same afternoon. Incredible!
In telling me about that afternoon, Phil raved about Papa Joe’s solo hi-hat performance and that Jones joked from stage that his solo was a “TKO: Time Killer Only.”
There’s a great post on the official Gretsch site with lots of detail about this afternoon. Better yet is that audio is available! This may be old news to some of you, but it’s new to me so I thought it’s worth sharing.
You can find the audio on Wolfgang’s vintage archive. If you click on the large “play” button at the top of the page you’ll get the impression that you can only listen to samples. Don’t let that fool you. Clicking on each track will allow you to listen to the entire thing and I believe you can also purchase the recording.
This is a real treasure and I’m thrilled to have discovered it after hearing about it all these years.
Huge thanks to Billy Drummond for sharing that Kenny Washington is returning to the radio with his own program!
His show will air for 2 hours every Monday 5-7pm (PST) / 8-10pm (EST) on Jazz 88.3 KSDS out of San Diego and will be streaming live.
Here are a few words from the man himself:
“After 20 years, I’m happy to announce that I’m back on the radio waves at KSDS Jazz 88.3, San Diego. The series is called Jazz Across America which airs M-F, 5 pm-7 PST/8 pm-10 EST with a different host each evening. I’ll be celebrating the great live music that has been recorded in the New York jazz clubs and ballrooms of the past 80 years.
I’ll also be dipping into the “maniac archives” from time to time playing rarities from my collection. Let me take care of your jazz listening needs on Mondays starting Feb. 14, 2022 from 5 pm-7pm (PST), 8 pm – 10 (EST). You can catch us on the web www.jazz88.org. Please be sure to tell your friends and enemies that The Maniac’s Back!!!!”
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.
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.
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: