All'età di 6 anni iniziò a studiare il violino e a 9 anni fece il suo debutto suonando il Concerto per violino ed orchestra di Felix Mendelssohn, con la Boston Symphony Orchestra. Abbandonò il violino a quindici anni, per intraprendere lo studio della batteria, avendo come maestri dapprima George Lawrence Stone, (autore di Stick Control for the Snare Drummer) e poi il percussionista Billy Gladstone. Joe Morello è conosciuto principalmente per aver fatto parte del The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Fu lui, con il sassofonista Paul Desmond - che di "Take Five" era l'autore -, ad ispirare Brubeck durante la realizzazione in studio di Take Five, uno dei più celebri (e dei più eseguiti), classici del jazz.[1]

È morto all'età di 82 anni, la mattina del 12 marzo 2011, nella sua abitazione nel New Jersey a causa di problemi cardiaci.

«Tutti i batteristi del mondo ricorderanno Joe come uno dei più grandi musicisti. Il suo assolo in Take Five continua a essere ascoltato in tutto il pianeta»



Joseph Albert Morello (July 17, 1928 – March 12, 2011) was a jazz drummer best known for his work with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was particularly noted for playing in the unusual time signatures employed by that group in such pieces as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo à la Turk". Popular for its work on college campuses during the 1950s, Brubeck's group reached new heights with Morello. In June 1959, Morello participated in a recording session with the quartet — completed by the alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and the bassist Eugene Wright — that yielded "Kathy's Waltz" and "Three to Get Ready," both of which intermingled 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures.

Morello suffered from partial vision from birth,[2] and devoted himself to indoor activities. At six years old, he began studying the violin. Three years later, he was a featured soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and again three years later.

At the age of 15, Morello met the violinist Jascha Heifetz and decided that he would never be able to equal Heifetz's "sound". Therefore, he switched to drumming, first studying with a show drummer named Joe Sefcik and then George Lawrence Stone, author of the noted drum textbook Stick Control for the Snare Drummer. Stone was so impressed with Morello's ideas that he incorporated them into his next book, Accents & Rebounds, which is dedicated to Morello. Later, Morello studied with Radio City Music Hallpercussionist Billy Gladstone.

After moving to New York City, Morello worked with numerous notable jazz musicians including Johnny SmithTal FarlowStan KentonPhil WoodsSal SalvadorMarian McPartlandJay McShannArt Pepper, and Howard McGhee. After a period of playing in McPartland's trio, Morello declined invitations to join both Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey's bands, favoring a temporary two-month tour with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1955. Morello remained with Brubeck for well over a decade, departing in 1968. Morello later became an in-demand clinician, teacher and bandleader whose former students include Danny Gottlieb, TigerBill Meligari, Bruce Springsteen E Street Band drummer Max WeinbergRich Galichon, Phish drummer Jon Fishman, Gary Feldman, Patrick Wante, Tony Woo, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons drummer Gerry Polci, Jerry Granelli, RIOT drummer Sandy Slavin, retired Army Blues drummer Steve Fidyk, Glenn Johnson, Pittsburgh drummer Bennett Carlise, Level System author and professional drummer Jeff W. Johnson,[3] and Jon Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres.

Morello appeared in many Brubeck performances and contributed to over 60 albums with Brubeck. On "Take Five", he plays an imaginative drum solo maintaining the 5/4 time signature throughout. Another example of soloing in odd time signatures can be heard on "Unsquare Dance", in which he solos using only sticks without drums in 7/4 time. At the end of the track, he can be heard laughing about the "trick" ending. He also features on "Blue Rondo à la Turk", "Strange Meadow Lark", "Pick-Up Sticks" and "Castilian Drums".

During his career, Morello appeared on over 120 albums. He authored several drum books, including Master Studies, published by Modern Drummer Publications, and also made instructional videos. Morello was the recipient of many awards, including Playboy magazine's best drummer award for seven years in a row, and Down Beat magazine's best drummer award five years in a row. He was elected to the Modern Drummer magazine Hall of Fame in 1988, the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993, and was the recipient of Hudson Music's first TIP (Teacher Integration Program) Lifetime Achievement award in June, 2010.[4] [1][5]

Morello died at his home in Irvington, New Jersey, on March 12, 2011, aged 82, and is interred at Saint Michael Cemetery.[6]

Upon his death, Morello's wife gave Marvin Burock, one of Joe's students who had toured extensively with Morello and who was tasked with transcribing Morello's Modern Drummer articles for ten years, control of Joe Morello's memorabilia and collections.[7][8][9]




With Dave Brubeck

With Gary Burton

With Tal Farlow

  • 1954 Tal Farlow Quartet
  • 1955 The Tal Farlow Album

With Marian McPartland

  • 1952 Lullaby of Birdland
  • 1955 Marian McPartland in Concert
  • 1955 Live At the Hickory House
  • 1956 After Dark
  • 1957 The Marian McPartland Trio
  • 2002 Live at Shanghai Jazz
  • 2003 All My Life

With Gil Mellé

With Sal Salvador

  • 1956 Shades of Sal Salvador
  • Juicy Lucy (Bee Hive, 1978)

With Chuck Wayne

With others


Joe Morello liked to buck trends when it came to his gear. As his international reputation grew through his work with The Dave Brubeck Quartet in the late ’50s/early ’60s, he passed overGretsch drums, the brand favored by many of his jazz drumming contemporaries, and chose instead to play aLudwig Super Classic kit, an outfit more closely associated with rock drummers of the day.

By that point, jazz drummers had transitioned from big band to small combo jazz, and in the process scaled down their kits with diminutive 18″ bass drums. In contrast, Morello outfitted his 4-piece kit with a booming 22″ kick, as well as a 13″ mounted tom and 16″ floor (both finished in a bold silver sparkle), with a 14″ x 5″ Ludwig Black Beauty or Super Sensitive snare drum. He clearly wanted to make a statement.

Morello played Zildjian from the mid-’50s to the mid-’60s (including a set of As during the recording of “Take Five”). He would later endorse Paiste, and showed a particular fondness for the company’s 602 line. In the ’60s, he even played an instrumental role in developing the very first flat ride – Paiste’s Formula 602 model.

In recent years, the respected East Coast drum shop owner Steve Maxwell put a large selection of Morello’s cymbals on sale. The offering revealed the drummer’s taste for variety, mixing Paiste 602s, 3000s, and prototype rides and crashes with a smattering of Zildjian New Beat hi-hats and Ks from the ’80s. We’re certain they weren’t sold cheaply.

Later in life, Morello changed his palette and turned heads by endorsing DW Drums and Sabian cymbals. He chose aDW Collector Series set in a custom Desert Sand finish with a 13″ x 9″ mounted tom, 16″ x 16″ floor tom, 22″ x 16″ bass drum, and 14″ x 5″ Edge snare – all fitted with DW heads. His Sabian setup included 13″ Brilliant Finish AAX Studio hi-hats, a 19″ Brilliant Finish AA Medium crash, a 17″ AA Brilliant Finish Medium-Thin crash, and a 21″ prototype ride.

Morello used Ludwig 11A drum sticks in the early years, but later switched to Pro-Mark, which made the drummer his own Signature 11A hickory stick in both wood- and nylon-tip models. Morello was fond of tuning his snare drum fairly tight and crisp, with the batter head about a fourth lower than the snare side. He played all drums wide open, with the only muffling being a 2″ felt strip on the batter head of the bass drum, running from top to bottom about 3″ off the center of the head.

Un libro per lo sviluppo del controllo e della tecnica delle mani. Può essere affrontato con qualsiasi tecnica acquisita e le idee che propone possono essere applicate a qualsiasi genere musicale.

Percussion). Like Master Studies , this is a workbook of material to use in developing the hands for drumming. Challenging exercises encourage students to learn slow, sensible and accurate practice techniques.

Originally released in 1967, this Joe Morello classic is once again available. The precursor to his two most widely used instructional books Master Studies and Master Studies II this book covers: techniques such as right and left hand grips, playing position, striking the snare drum & hi-hat and more; beginning exercises; drum beats; teacher's charts; graphic cutouts and more. Includes a foreword by John Riley and an informative intro.