Reports are emerging that legendary American drummer Steve Reid has passed away.
Born in 1944, Steve Reid’s career was to encompass a huge range of music. Recording with Martha Reeves & The Vandellas at the age of just 17, the drummer would become one of the foremost percussion players in free jazz.
Ignited by Ornette Coleman, the free jazz movement is much more than just music. An all encompassing philosophy, Steve Reid’s adoption of the form took him across the world.
A conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Steve Reid later lived for three years in Africa. A hugely respected drummer, the musician enjoyed a remarkable career renaissance courtesy of a series of collaborations with Kieran Hebden.
The Four Tet producer has a strong interest in jazz, with albums such as ‘Rounds’ peppered with flashing cymbals. Together the pair worked on a series of albums, beginning with ‘The Exchange Sessions Vol. 1’ in 2006.
Performing live, Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid would produce a groundbreaking mixture of electronica and free jazz. A testament to the imagination of those involved, the shows were genuinely transcendental experiences.
The two last recorded with each other for ‘NYC’ and it seems as if that will be their final musical act together. In a Twitter posting earlier today Gilles Peterson paid tribute to Steve Reid, who has apparently died:
“devastated by the news that my friend drummer Steve Reid passed away last night in New York – a true inspiration who will be greatly missed”.
Other tributes are coming in, more on this shortly.