Miles Davis (featuring Philly Joe Jones): Gone




Miles Davis (flugelhorn)


Porgy and Bess (Columbia/Legacy 712764)

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Miles Davis (flugelhorn), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums),

Johnny Coles, Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, Louis Mucci (trumpets), Joe Bennett, Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Dick Hixson (trombones), Willie Ruff, Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller (French horns), Bill Barber (tuba), Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque (flutes), Danny Bank (bass clarinet)


Composed by Gil Evans


Recorded: New York, July 22, 1958


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

"The thing about Philly Joe's playing," said Paul Motian in a 1996 Percussive Notes interview, "was that somehow his ideas and his phrasing, when he soloed and played fours and eights, you really knew where he was in the tune. So I learned from that." As with all great jazz drummers, but especially with Philly Joe and Max Roach, instrumental composition was their priority, whether playing behind a famed soloist or improvising an individual statement of their own. "Drum Solo!!!" certainly did not equate to temporarily abandoning all remnants of the tune until the drummer counted the band back in. And like great soloists on other instruments, their improvisations can later be analyzed as instantaneous compositions, in which musicians who thoughtfully combined melodic ideas on a rhythmic instrument (or vice versa) often yield the most satisfying analytic findings.

One can hear this in "Gone," Philly Joe's feature from Porgy and Bess. Note how his drum breaks either act as responses to the calls previously played by the band, or how they occasionally predict what rhythm the band is about to play. There are no throwaway fills here every drum break (and there are many) propels the song forward with vigor and sophistication. A highlight is the extended break from 1:16 to 1:25, where Philly Joe masterfully executes both swing and bop mainstays in nine seconds: advanced bop fills throughout the middle of the break are bookended by triplets that cleverly mark the band's exit and sets up its return. A master in fine form.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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