Rashied Ali

Rashied Ali, a drummer who applied his advanced technique to free jazz, died today in New York. He was 76. Born Robert Patterson, Ali became a disciple and close colleague of his fellow Philadelphian John Coltrane. He played on some of the most uninhibited recordings of Coltrane's final years, including the astonishing Interstellar Space, a series of free duets. I was on a selection committee for Grammy nominations in 1974, the year Impulse! Records released Interstellar Space. Pianist Billy … [Read more...]

Les Paul

Les Paul, who affected the course of popular music in profound ways, died today at the age of 94. Jazz devotees may remember the guitarist most fondly from the days in the 1930s when he collaborated with Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge and Art Tatum, or his involvement with Jazz At The Philharmonic and a memorable 1944 blues duet with Nat Cole. He went on to star on radio and television, invent equipment, come up with innovative recording techniques and zoom to the top of the pop charts with hit … [Read more...]