from the New York Times:
Rashied Ali, whose expressionistic, free-jazz drumming helped define the experimental style of John Coltrane’s final years, died Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 76.
The cause of his death was a heart attack, his wife, Patricia Ali, said.
Mr. Ali, who first encountered Coltrane in their Philadelphia neighborhood in the late 1950s, made the leap from admiration to participation in the mid-1960s, when he joined Elvin Jones as a second drummer with Coltrane’s ensemble at the Village Gate in November 1965 He recorded with Coltrane and Jones on the 1965 album “Meditations” and, after replacing Jones as Coltrane’s drummer, on the duet album “Interstellar Space” (1967), one of the purest expressions of the free-jazz movement. On Mr. Ali’s Web site, his playing is described as “a multi-rhythmic, polytonal propellant, helping fuel Coltrane’s flights of free-jazz fancy.”
Mr. Ali was born Robert Patterson into a musical family in Philadelphia. He started out on piano and dabbled with trombone and trumpet before finding his way to the drums, which he began to play seriously while serving in the Army.
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