Idris Muhammad, a prolific drummer whose music spanned funk, jazz and rhythm and blues, died on Tuesday (July 29) aged 74.
Born Leo Morris in New Orleans in 1939, Muhammad played drums on Fats Domino’s 1956 hit, ‘Blueberry Hill’ when he was just 16 years old. He later moved to New York and then Europe, changing his name to Idris Muhammad after converting to Islam with his wife, Dolores ‘LaLa’ Brooks of The Crystals.
While he spent the past two decades working with jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, Muhammad’s long career as a drummer-for-hire saw him tour and record with stars like Roberta Flack, Grover Washington, George Benson, Pharoah Sanders, Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield.
For more on the drummer’s five-decade career, read Muhammad’s obituary in the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.