Tag Archives: THE DRUMS

“YOU DIG IT, SON?”: PIERRE FAVRE REMEMBERS PAPA JO JONES

Jo Jones, the Sage, by Chip Stern

Jo Jones, the Sage, by Chip Stern

An excerpt from an interview with drummer Pierre Favre, published in CADENCE:

Cadence (Ken Weiss): What unforgettable encounter did you have with Papa Jo Jones?

Favre:  I’ll never forget that.  I had a drum clinic at the American Hotel in New York and many drummers were there and Papa Jo Jones was there and I was playing that free business.  Everyone later went to the buffet, of course, and Jo Jones came over and said to me, “Son, come here.”  He sat at my drum set with two brushes and he was just stretching the drums, not hitting, just smiling.  It was like some fresh air came into the room, you know?  This is all he did for a few seconds, just stretching the instrument, and then he said, “You dig it, son?  OK, let’s go have a drink.”  It was a short lesson but it was a lesson for life in a few minutes.

Cadence:  So that encounter changed how you played?

Favre:  No, it was confirming what I was looking for, otherwise it would not have worked.  If somebody puts his finger exactly on what you are looking for, boom, then you have it.  He was a wise man, the drums were his world.  I know he was not always gentle with young drummers, he was very hard on them if he didn’t feel they were really concerned about it so his interest in me was a real compliment.

(CADENCE, Annual Edition 2012, 174-5).

A lesson for sure!

And now a word from me about CADENCE — that honest long-running magazine of Creative Improvised Music, whose reach goes from ragtime to the most extravagantly independent expressions imaginable.  I used to be a Cadence freeloader — leaning against the browser in Tower Records, reading the new issues for free.

Then I came to write for the magazine (I still do) and I admire its continued intelligent independence.  It was the first jazz magazine I’d ever written for where candor was prized, so that when I timidly sent in a negative review of a reissue by a very famous player, I was delighted to find that the then Editor, Bob Rusch, applauded my undiplomatic truth-telling.  And it continues on its honest ways.  Learn more about it here.

May your happiness increase.

“MUSIC FOR DRUMMERS”: EXTRAORDINARY LARGESSE

Although I’ve always understood that part of the urge to collect has in it the urge to keep something for oneself — “Mine!  Mine!  Not yours!” screams the toddler self — I am delighted beyond words when someone in the jazz collecting world says, “Here!  Listen to this!  Let everyone listen to this!”  The Italian jazz scholar Enrico Borsetti is one of these heroic figures.  And now I’ve met another person, in cyberspace to be sure, who has showered riches upon us.  His name is Mike Tarani.   

I found the blog MUSIC FOR DRUMMERS through a Google Alert for “Jo Jones.”  I have now seen a great deal of information about Susie Jo Jones, and Jolanda Jo Jones, and Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones.  I’m sure they are all beyond compare, but none of them played drums in the Basie rhythm section, none of them fired rimshots and accents behind Tommy Ladnier at Carnegie Hall.  You understand.

MUSIC FOR DRUMMERS has devoted an astounding post to Jonathan David Samuel Jones (and kindly mentions my piece on Jo in this blog) — which includes YouTube videos.  AND it includes mp3 versions of Jo’s famous two-record set, THE DRUMS.

But wait!  There’s more!  MFD also offers — free and gleefully — the tape of an oral history interview of Jo done by Milt Hinton, circa 1973.  Hearing those voices nearly brought me to tears.   

My goodness!

And, as Mae West never said, “Goodness has everything to do with it.”  Blessings on Mike Tarrani for his generosities.

See for yourself at http://drumz4sale.blogspot.com/2010/02/papa-jo-jones.html