Making Rudiments Sound Good With Philly Joe Jones

Philly Joe Jones was one of the most distinctive drummers in the jazz community.

As explained by Ralph Peterson, Philly Joe Jones was one of the master drummers of incorporating rudiments into his jazz drumming and tying them together lyrically like nobody else around. Ralph called it rudimentary lyricism, in an interview I’ve shared with you below. Philly Joe’s claim to fame was playing with some of the best jazz groups around including the first Miles Davis Quintet and the Bill Evans Trio, among others. Philly Joe had a very distinct style, which was important in those days since jazz was about having your own voice, and he inspired generations of drummers to come with his style. I found a few videos to share with you today featuring Philly Joe Jones, his drumming style, and some of the concepts he incorporated into his drumming. I hope you enjoy all the videos as much as I did!

The first video I have to share with you comes from a live performance with the Bill Evans Trio. This is an excerpt from the song when Philly Joe is playing a solo. Check it out at

Next, I came across a lesson inspired by Philly Joe Jones from jazz drummer Ralph Peterson. He explains some of the rudiments Philly Joe used in his playing, and the way he was able to string them together. Enjoy the video now at

Lastly, here’s another video featuring a solo from Philly Joe. I wanted to share another solo so you can see what Ralph Peterson was talking about. Also, compare the first video to this one and try to hear the commonalities in rudiments and drumming. This is his distinct voice and most jazz musicians will always be able to tell Philly Joe’s playing apart. Check it out now at

I hope you enjoyed from this great American jazz drummer. He has inspired countless drummers in the jazz world and beyond with his distinct voice. There’s more coming your way at Play Drums By Ear, so stay tuned.



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