Jazz drummer Rashied Ali dies
Released 'Live in Europe' album earlier this yearNEW YORK -- Rashied Ali, a free-jazz drummer who backed John Coltrane and accompanied him in a duet album in the final months of the jazz master's life, has died. He was 76.
The Philadelphia native died at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital of a blood clot in his lung on Wednesday, said his wife, Patricia Ali.
When Coltrane decided to use two drummers at a performance at the Village Gate in November 1965, he chose Ali to back up drummer Elvin Jones. He recorded with both men on the 1965 album "Meditations," and accompanied Coltrane alone on the duet album "Interstellar Space," recorded shortly before Coltrane died of cancer in 1967.
After the jazz master died, Ali toured Europe before returning to New York to play and record there. He opened the jazz club Ali's Alley in 1973 and launched the Survival Records label, which he maintained until his death. The club closed in 1979.
Over a career that spanned more than four decades, he performed with artists including Don Cherry, Albert Ayler, Alice Coltrane and Archie Shepp. In recent years he formed the Rashied Ali Quintet, and this year he released a "Live In Europe" album with the group.
"He was at the top of his game until his last day," his wife said Thursday night. "He just had such integrity about his music."