Friday Solo

Today I’m going to steal a great idea off my pal Steve Goold (Owl City / Sara Bareillis) at He calls it “Drum Solo Fridays.” I’m gonna’ call it “Friday Solo” so as not to insight any kind of copyright infringement. (If Vanilla Ice can change one note in “Under Pressure” and repackage it as “Ice-Ice-Baby” without instigating legal restitution I can too.) My first installment of this series is my all-time favorite solo by one of my all-time favorite players. I’m speaking of the incredible Papa Jo Jones. Everything this guy did with a set of sticks or brushes was magical. His creativity and innovation was second to none and he is still regarded as one of the greatest. This solo was filmed during a live performance of Caravan and features several of Jones’ signature moves. From playing with his hands and using the rims to create interesting rhythms – to the way he ingeniously incorporates dynamics on the snare, this piece is both tasteful and flawless. Take a look at Jones’ facial expressions and posture. He is smiling ear to ear and making it look effortless all at the same time. Gene Krupa once said that he spent a great deal of his career copying Jones and Jones said that he likewise copied Krupa. This performance shows us why.

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