Rashied Ali RIP | Bleader

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rashied Ali RIP

Posted By on 08.13.09 at 10:48 AM

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Rashied Ali
  • Rashied Ali
According to his official Web site, brilliant drummer Rashied Ali has died at the age of 74. No details about the cause have emerged yet. Ali will probably always be known best for his radical contributions to Interstellar Space (Impulse, 1967), the free-jazz masterpiece that established the blueprint for saxophone-drum duos.

Ali worked with Coltrane frequently in the late 60s and later collaborated regularly with Trane’s wife, Alice. He was also one of the first jazz musicians to establish his own label, the aptly named Survival Records, in the early 70s. He was an explosive percussionist, and though he earned his reputation as a fierce proponent of free jazz, he could also swing like crazy, evoking hard-bop legend Art Blakey. Over the years he worked with an astonishingly varied group of musicians, from committed explorers like Leroy Jenkins, Alan Shorter, Marion Brown, and Frank Lowe to spiritual-jazz avatar Gary Bartz to post-no wave guitarist Rudolph Grey to Japanese noise shaman Keiji Haino.

Ali hadn’t slowed down, and just last week he played with saxophonist Charles Gayle and bassist William Parker at the George Wein’s CareFusion Jazz Festival, a new iteration of the Newport Jazz Festival.

CORRECTION: Rashied's brother Muhammad filled in for him at the Newport gig. Apparently Rashied suffered a heart attack and died following heart surgery.

It's shaping up to be rough day for music. Legendary guitarist Les Paul has also died, due to complications from pneumonia. He was 94.

Today’s playlist:

Roberto Carlos, Canta Para a Juventude (Columbia, Brazil)
Jeb Bishop/Harris Eisenstadt/Jason Roebke, Tiebreaker (Not Two)
Led Bib, Sizewell Ten (Babel)
Tom Scott James, School and Rivers (Bo’ Weavil)
Cristina Branco, Kronos (Emarcy)

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