When Don Alias passed away suddenly on March 28, 2006, the world lost one of the truly great percussionists of the past 50 years. Alias never released a single album under his own name, although Stone Alliance, '70s trio with bassist Gene Perla and saxophonist Steve Grossman, was a vital musical force in its time (and there are plans to make much of its discograpy available on CD for the first time in the coming months) - but he played with almost anybody who is
anybody in the world of jazz and beyond. The larger listening public may not have heard of him, but there are few who haven't heard
AAJ contributor Mike Brannon was part-way through a long-overdue interview with Alias when he passed. So in order to memorialize Don as he deserved to be, he and Senior Editor John Kelman connected with a variety of artists who had played with Alias over the years.
The result is two pieces published at AAJ this morning:
Brannon's incomplete but enlightening interview with Alias, Don Alias: Heart, Soul and Lungs; and
Don Alias: A Tribute, the second in AAJ's new In the Artist's Own Words" column, featuring testimonials and remembrances from artists including Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, Randy Brecker and Steve Khan.
Joni Mitchell, with whom Alias collaborated on classic albums including Hejira and Shadows and Light, wrote You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." Fitting words. Check out AAJ's coverage on the late, great Don Alias today.
For more information contact All About Jazz.