Muhammad Ali (drummer)

Muhammad Ali (born Raymond Patterson, December 23, 1936)[1] is an American free jazz drummer.

Muhammad Ali
Birth nameRaymond Patterson
Born (1936-12-23) December 23, 1936 (age 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresFree jazz

Early lifeEdit

Ali was born and raised in Philadelphia where he, along with his father and brothers, converted to Islam. His older brother, Rashied Ali, was also a drummer.[2][3]


He recorded with Albert Ayler in 1969 on the sessions released as Music is the Healing Force of the Universe and The Last Album.[4] like many Jazz musicians of the 60's, He moved to Europe in 1969 along with Frank Wright, Noah Howard, and Bobby Few.[1]

The Jazz Discography states that Ali participated in 26 recording sessions from 1967 to 1983.[5][6]

In October 2006, Ali participated in a concert to celebrate John Coltrane's 80th birthday in his hometown of Philadelphia. Also featured were his brother, pianist Dave Burrell, and bassist Reggie Workman. He also played with alto saxophonist Noah Howard in the summer of 2008. In 2010, he recorded Planetary Unknown in a quartet led by David S. Ware, Ali's first recording in nearly thirty years.[7]


As sidemanEdit

With Albert Ayler

With Bobby Few

  • More or Less Few

With Noah Howard

With Saheb Sarbib

  • Live In Europe Vols 1 & 2

With Archie Shepp

With Alan Shorter

With David S. Ware

With Frank Wright

With Bobby Zsnkel

  • Celebrating William Parker @ 65 (Not Two, 2017)[8]


  1. ^ a b Wilmer, Val (1977). As Serious As Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz. Quartet. p. 259. ISBN 0-7043-3164-0.
  2. ^ "The Revolutions Of Drummer Rashied Ali". Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians Archived 2011-09-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Albert Ayler discography". Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  5. ^ Lord, Tom. "The Jazz discography". Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  6. ^ ALlmusic credits
  7. ^ Jones, Nic (June 8, 2011). "David S. Ware / Cooper-Moore / William Parker / Muhammad Ali: Planetary Unknown". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  8. ^ Schermer, Victor L. (December 14, 2017). "Bobby Zankel: Celebrating William Parker at 65". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2021-04-25.