Born and raised near Philadelphia to a musical family, Joe Chambers heard not only the rock and roll of Louis Jordan and Slim Gaillard, but the classical of Vivaldi, Wagner, Beethoven and Mahler. Drums came early. I think an instrument picks you. I used to play on post and pans when I was little. I was setting them up like a kit at four years of age, so the instincts were there.
More taken with Lester Young and Lionel Hampton than Little Richard, Chambers nonetheless soon joined a band playing all the R&B hits of the day. We played 'house rock,' horn players walking the bar like Big Jay McNeely and Tiny Bradshaw. But then I started hearing esoteric jazz like Miles Davis, and that grabbed me. When I heard that at age 13, immediately I was hooked.
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