Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rufus "Speedy" Jones

Now here's a great big band drummer that everyone should take note of. I was recently reminded of this from reading an article in the current issue of Modern Drummer Magazine. Jones has the distinction of being one of the few drummers to have held the drum chair in both the big bands of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and from this footage of "Speedy" (featured here in a Duke Ellington piano trio) you can see why:

I really admire the collection of influences that come together in this fine drummer's playing ranging from Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Sonny Payne and Louis Bellson.


  1. I saw Rufus play in 1954 at The Green Mill Ballroom in Ventura,Calif. with the Lionel Hamilton Band. He was playing only a Bass Drum and Snare with hihats and cymbals.We got to talk alittle on the break. He was using 1S drumsticks and playing hard. .

  2. How "Clean" is that,Buddy? And speed too!
    He needed to live longer...