679

Cooking with Philly Joe

Rob Mariani By

Sign in to view read count

Some people have described Philly Joe as a big band drummer who sounded great with small groups because he had such a highly developed sense of structure. There was always a full-fledged arrangement in his head just as if he were playing a big band chart but scaled down to fit a quintet or even a trio—and yet always completely spontaneous.

I had the good fortune to hear Philly Joe several times throughout his career— with Miles, and with his own groups, and it was always an incredibly energizing experience. I always came away smiling. Once, just before Philly Joe left for a brief self-imposed exile in Europe, I had the extraordinary opportunity of hearing him at Paul's Mall in Boston with Bill Evans and Eddy Gomez. The empathy and creativity that came out of those three men was miraculous. Whether it was a blistering up-tempo "Minority full of off-kilter, crazy-assed drum breaks that left you breathless, or a deep, beautiful and moving ballad like "My Foolish Heart, what these guys did was cook.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Great, Late Show with Dakota Staton First Time I Saw The Great, Late Show with Dakota Staton
by Rob Mariani
Published: November 17, 2006
Read Betty Carter Remembered First Time I Saw Betty Carter Remembered
by Dee Dee McNeil
Published: May 13, 2006
Read Betty Carter: Along Came Betty First Time I Saw Betty Carter: Along Came Betty
by Rob Mariani
Published: May 13, 2006
Read Does Anybody Here Remember Joe? First Time I Saw Does Anybody Here Remember Joe?
by Craig M. Cortello
Published: April 26, 2006
Read Coda For Elvin First Time I Saw Coda For Elvin
by Rob Mariani
Published: April 2, 2004
Read "Big Star: Complete Third" Extended Analysis Big Star: Complete Third
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Jazz in Its Present Tents" From the Inside Out Jazz in Its Present Tents
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Mark Isham: Blue Sun" Rediscovery Mark Isham: Blue Sun
by John Kelman
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History" History of Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History
by Steve Rowland
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road" Extended Analysis King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road
by John Kelman
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Hiring a Publicist: Is It Worth It?" In The Biz Hiring a Publicist: Is It Worth It?
by Kathy Sanborn
Published: August 25, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.