Joe Daniels was born in (to use his own words) “a little one- eyed village” called Zeerust in the Transvaal, South Africa. After the death of his father. Joe who was then only two years old, was brought to the U.K. by his mother, together with his two brothers Len, who was to achieve musical fame himself and later opened a music shop in Soho, and Syd who under the pseudonym “Sirdani” became a stage magician and coined the familiar phrase “Don’t be fright”. Joe started playing drums at the age of eleven. He first played a proper drum kit at a family wedding reception but up to that time, having been bought a pair of drumsticks by brother Len. he played on his mother‘s saucepans and washboard or anything he could lay hands on.
Eventually Len, seeing Joe‘s natural gift for rhythm. bought him a snare drum, and Joe practiced continually on this. Len finally went the whole hog and bought Joe a bass drum and cymbal and thus. in easy stages as it were. Joe finally acquired a complete drum kit. However. so impressed was the leader of the small group playing at the aforementioned wedding reception, that he subsequently telephoned Joe’s mother and asked if it would be possible for her eleven year old son to play some engagements with them. The rest is history as Joe went on to become one of the U.K.s best jazz drummers. Joe made 105 records with his band, The Hot Shots. Here are 20 of the best of them.