This thesis explores the life of drummer "Philly" Joseph Rudolf Jones, one of jazz's most renowned, unknown figures. As the drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet/Sextet and a later incarnation of the Bill Evans Trio, Joe achieved worldwide fame and success. Yet, his life story has always been told in the footnotes of the towering figures he performed with: John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, etc. Jazz history books recognize Joe's contributions and nearly all provide a space, albeit a small one, to recognize his accomplishments. Leonard Feather's The Encyclopedia of Jazz has an entry for Joe, Lewis Porter's An Historical Survey of Jazz Drumming Styles lists Joe as an important figure in the evolution of jazz drumming, and The Oxford Companion to Jazz states that "just about anyone of consequence worked with Jones." These texts and many others put Joe in a place of prominence for a handful of sentences. However, footnoting Joe's success overlooks the fact that he recorded on more than one-hundred albums from 1955-1960 and was probably the most recorded American drummer in any genre during that time period. Despite his popularity and critical acclaim, no published author has delved into Joe's complex life with any depth. This thesis explores Joe's musical biography and seeks to illuminate the paradoxes therin. Joe's story contains drug use, prison time, and abrasive behavior. On the other hand, he was an excellent musician and a generous man who mentored many young musicians. Joe's life is intertwined in a web of circumstantial experiences: a fatherless upbringing, military service during World War II, integrating the Philadelphia Transit Company, and working to survive as a musician in New York. There are also lesser-known parts of his life including his roots as a Rhythm and blues drummer, his love for big band music, and his associations with the avant-garde. Joe overcame the obstacles of socioeconomic status, racism, evolving musical styles, and the drug culture to become a superb musician who still found time to educate the next generation.