Downbeat magazine wrote a fantastic piece on our very own Willie Jones III. The 49- year-old drummer, who just sold out two shows at the famous Blues Alley nightclub in Washington, D.C, had this to say about his new album My Point Is… (WJ3):
“The common ground for these musicians is that they all love to play in a style that some would call hard-bop or straight ahead—what I’d call real jazz. Real jazz to me has the rhythmic feel of swinging. You can improvise, but change the rhythm base, and the style is different. It’s great if blues is in it, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be. The groove basis for jazz is the ride cymbal. If I want to play r&b or funk, then the emphasis will be on the backbeat with the snare drum and hi-hat. I can do that.”
The high-ranking jazz drummer, who is currently touring across the United States and Europe, is best known for his time performing with the Roy Hargrove’s quintet. Willie Jones III is also well respected in the jazz industry.
Ted Panken, the writer of the three-page spread on Willie Jones III, dives into discussing everything from Jones’ ideas on the future of jazz, how he handles booking gigs, being a bandleader and running his own recording studio WJ3 Records, as well as Jones’ major musical influences in his life.
For those looking to read more about Willie Jones III and discover how a top-tier jazz artist lives and works in our modern age, head over to DownBeat.com and read Willie Jones III Merges Swing and Swagger by Ted Panken!