Jo Jones

Biography

"Papa" Jo Jones was a true innovator in jazz drumming, shifting the timekeeping role in the trap set from the bass drum to the hi-hat and cymbals. He sat behind the kit for the legendary Count Basie band of the 1930s. His drumming combined strong, unwavering swing with constantly shifting rhythmic phrasing and accents in the hi-hat and cymbals. Though he was powerful enough to drive an entire big band forward, he also displayed a light, sensitive touch on ballads. Many of the phrases and polyrhythms that modern jazz drummers use today originated with the work of this master musician.

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