Rashied Ali Dead at 76

By Radim McCue Published August 15, 2009

Rashied Ali, a free jazz drummer who first came to prominence when he joined John Coltrane in 1965 passed away on August 14 at the age of 76, due to a heart attack.

A native of Philadelphia (like many other great jazz musicians, Ali began recording with Coltrane and Elvin Jones on the 1965 album Meditations and later replaced Jones as Coltrane's drummer. Ali was a powerful drummer, capable of great improvisation and polytonality. In addition to Coltrane he performed and recorded with other free jazz stalwarts such as saxophonist Albert Ayler, Pharaoh Sanders, and drummer Sunny Murray. In his later years he worked with the band Phalanx, artists such as Dewey Redman, Carlos Santana, and lead his own Rashied Ali Quintet, beginning in 2003.

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