Rashied Ali


Rashied Ali, born Robert Patterson (July 1, 1933 – August 12, 2009) was an American free jazz and avant-garde drummer who was best known for performing with John Coltrane in the last years of Coltrane’s life.

Patterson was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His family was musical; his mother sang with Jimmie Lunceford. His brother, Muhammad Ali, is also a drummer, who played with Albert Ayler. Ali, his brother, and his father converted to Islam.

Starting off as a pianist, he eventually took up the drums, via trumpet and trombone. He joined the United States Army and played with military bands during the Korean War. After his military service, he returned home and studied with Philly Joe Jones, then toured with Sonny Rollins.