Mitch Mitchell, Legendary Drummer Dead at 61

Mitch Mitchell, the legendary drummer who was Jimi Hendrix's greatest musical partner, died November 12 during the Experience Hendrix tour.

Mitchell was one of the greatest drummers in rock history, not only because he played with its greatest guitarist but because of his great contributions to the music. More than any drummer of the Sixties Mitchell brought a jazz vocabulary and a free Elvin Jones-like sensibility to his playing. His greatest contribution was the way he communicated with Hendrix and played off the guitarist's extravagant improvisations.

Mitchell's sound depended on a fast snare and rapid cymbal riding, borrowed from jazz with basic rock patterns. His busy style with brilliant usage of hi-hat and cymbals has rarely been matched in rock or pop music.

Mitchell was 61.

Mitch Mitchell obituaries

DRUM! put Mitchell on its cover in 1998. Andy Doerschuk's original story.

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