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Ben Riley

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An excellent drummer whose strong support has helped a variety of advanced bop sessions, Ben Riley is best known for his association with Thelonious Monk's Quartet even though he was only a member for three years. Prior to playing with Monk, Riley performed with many combos, including those led by Randy Weston, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Junior Mance, Kenny Burrell, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis-Johnny Griffin (1960-1962), Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor, and Ray Bryant. His well-documented stint with Monk (1964-1967) was followed by associations with Alice Coltrane (on and off during 1968-1975), the New York Quartet (throughout the 1970s and '80s), Ron Carter (1975-1977), Jim Hall (1981), and the group Sphere. In addition, Riley has toured extensively with Abdullah Ibrahim. ~ Scott Yanow

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Birth Name:

Benjamin Alexander Riley


17 July 1933 in Savannah, GA

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s