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Drummer Rashied Ali died earlier this week, following heart surgery after a heart attack. Sad news, but at least he’d a reasonably long life – I was slightly surprised to find he was in his mid-seventies (either 74 or 76, depending on which report you read).

Born in Philadelphia, Ali is best known for his work with John Coltrane, but went on to work with a variety of other musicians, from Alan Shorter, Sonny Fortune and Marilyn Crispell to youngsters he hired for his own band. Ali also ran a New York jazz club, Ali’s Alley.

There are several clips of him in action, in styles ranging from fairly straightahead to free at http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/08/rashied_ali_rip.html

Update (20 August)

There are obituaries in The Times and The Guardian. He seems to have been 76 when he died.

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