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Subject: Jazz drummer Ben Riley

Dies at 84
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Date Posted: Monday, November 26, 03:43:13pm


This past November 18, the American jazz-drumming great Ben Riley passed away at the age of eighty-four. A brief list of Riley’s credits includes Alice Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Barron, the New York Jazz Quartet, and—most notably—the Thelonious Monk Quartet. Riley appeared on the venerated Monk recordings It’s Monk’s Time, Monk, Underground, and Straight, No Chaser, as well as the reissued 1964 recordings Live at the It Club and Live at the Jazz Workshop.

Riley was born in Georgia and moved to New York City with his family when he was four. After graduating high school, he served in the army, then moved back to New York in 1954. The drummer began playing professionally around the city in 1956 and joined Monk in 1964. His tenure with the idiosyncratic pianist and composer would last until 1968, when Riley took a four-year break from New York and music. He eventually returned to the kit in the ’70s, playing with the New York Jazz Quartet, Alice Coltrane, the Ron Carter Quartet, and others. As a leader Riley released the albums Weaver of Dreams, Memories of T, and Grown Folks Music.

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Subject Author Date
He died in 2017. You're one year late hon. (NT)Jim RutherfordMonday, November 26, 05:42:04pm
  • Oops. (NT) -- Thanks, Monday, November 26, 06:02:58pm

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