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Ronald Shannon Jackson Gone

from The New York Times

Ronald Shannon Jackson, Composer and Avant-Garde Drummer, Dies at 73

By STEVE SMITH

Alan Nahigian

Ronald Shannon Jackson, an avant-garde drummer and composer who led an influential electric band and performed with many of the greatest names in jazz, died on Saturday at his home in Fort Worth. He was 73.

His death, from leukemia, was confirmed by his son Talkeye.

Mr. Jackson, whose distinctive look included long hair that he once braided with rivets and subway tokens, had a muscular style that set him apart from his fellow avant-garde jazz drummers, providing for a thunderous yet economical rumble infused with funk, marching-band patterns and African styles. His band, the Decoding Society, showed his knack for writing rigorous yet approachable music.

He performed over the years with Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean and Joe Henderson. But his name was most closely linked with three free-jazz pioneers: the saxophonist Albert Ayler, the pianist Cecil Taylor and, foremost, the saxophonist Ornette Coleman, who also hailed from Fort Worth.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Editor

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