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Drummer Tony Reedus Dies at 49

Tony Reedus, a drummer who worked with Woody Shaw and many others, as well as recording under his own name, died of a pulmonary embolism on November 16. Reedus collapsed at New York’s Kennedy Airport after returning home from a gig in Italy, where he had performed with keyboardist Mike LeDonne. Attempts to revive him by an ambulance crew were unsuccessful. He was 49.

According to a biography on his Web site, Reedus was born in Memphis in 1959, took up drums at age 14, and soon after started playing with his school band. Inspired by his uncle, veteran Jazz Messengers pianist James Williams, Reedus became interested in playing jazz and began developing his conceptions in high school through private studies and analysis of the styles of personal influences such as Chick Webb, Art Blakey, Louis Hayes, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Victor Lewis.

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