Rashied Ali Tribute Band Biography
Obvious to many, John Coltrane played a major and invaluable role both musically and personally in Rashied Ali’s life. Rashied polished and refined his "multidirectional" style of drumming alongside Coltrane. Those who were fortunate enough to have performed with Rashied recognized his genius and his important contributions and innovations to the jazz art form. Rashied’s mission was to "push the music forward" and to "make a difference." With this in mind, he formed the latest edition of the Rashied Ali Quintet in 2003 (Rashied Ali – Drums, Lawrence Clark – Tenor Saxophone, Jumaane Smith – Trumpet (later replaced by
Josh Evans), Greg Murphy – Piano and Joris Teepe – Bass).
The Quintet (in which Ali found a combination of musicians that really understood his artistic vision) released two CDs – Judgment Day Vol. 1 and Judgment Day Vol. 2 in 2005, both of which received significant national airplay and volumes of critical acclaim. In 2009, Rashied’s last recording as a leader - Live In Europe - was released on the Survival Records label. This group, which Jazz Times critic Bill Milkowski called “… one of the more potent working quintets in jazz today,” developed a style that combined modern post-bop with Ali's trademark free jazz. They toured frequently, with their final performances taking place at The Art of Jazz festival in Toronto in June and at the Zinc Bar in NYC in July of 2009.
When Rashied passed away suddenly in August of 2009, the members of the quintet decided to keep playing his music. Greg Murphy recalls, “I remember Rashied’s Widow Patricia telling me ‘now YOU gotta keep the music alive’.” With several performances under their belt, the Rashied Ali Tribute Band is doing just that…playing Rashied’s original music and some of the other tunes he loved to play. None of the band members liked the idea of "Tribute Bands" but the love for Rashied and his music was so strong that they felt an obligation to continue exploring his conceptual vision.
The drum chair has been masterfully filled by Eric McPherson, Gene Jackson, Gerry Gibbs, Shinnosuke Takahashi and most recently Jabali Billy Hart, all of whom were admired by Rashied. The Quintet is a leaderless "Collective," and the powerful music is pushing boundaries, just like it was during the many years with Rashied’s Quintet. With one recording: "Live at the Zinc Bar" now available on gregmurphy1.bandcamp.com/album/at-the-zinc-bar
, the Rashied Ali Tribute Band hopes to continue carrying on the tradition and legacy that Rashied brought to the musical world.
Rashied Ali Tribute Band - At the Zinc Bar
JazzIntensity Records (201) 453.3622
Skain's Refrain 42:54
You're Reading My Mind 13:01
Cuttin' Corners 28:22
Multi Culti 4:24
Theme For Captain Black 37:50
Thing For Joe 35:44