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RifftideThe Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones$
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Papa Jo Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673001

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673001.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

The Musical Life of Papa Jo Jones

The Musical Life of Papa Jo Jones

(p.1) Introduction The Musical Life of Papa Jo Jones

Paul Devlin

University of Minnesota Press

The introduction gives a brief overview of the life and times of innovative jazz drummer Papa Jo Jones. Born Jonathan David Samuel Jones in the 17th of October 1911, Jones suffered a devastating loss that would later catapult him into show business. He would later tell his life’s story to jazz historian and novelist Albert Murray, following the latter’s work on an autobiography of another jazz great—Count Basie. Although Jones would not live to see his autobiography published, he nevertheless endured in Murray’s imagination as a character in his novels. Papa Jo Jones endures today as a legendary jazz drummer, whose exaggerated, larger-than-life intensity was only matched by his remarkable sense of humility in downplaying his considerable intellect. Thus has Jo Jones carved a place for himself within the hallowed halls of jazz history, drumming out the beat of his life to the tune of the vernacular.

Keywords:   Papa Jo Jones, Albert Murray, jazz drummer, autobiography, genre, jazz, jazz history

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