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Remembering Ben Riley (1933-2017)


Remembering Ben Riley (1933-2017)

If you know Monk's music, you know the sound of drummer Ben Riley.

Georgia born, Riley moved to New York City when he was four years old.

His professional career started in 1956 after a stint in the Army as a paratrooper and in the Army band.

In addition to his time with Monk in the 1960s for which he is best known, he got the call from giants like Randy Weston, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Billy Taylor, and Johnny Griffin to back them.

He was a leader on three albums including the 2006 Memories of T (Concord) and the 2012 Grown Folks Music (Sunnyside Records.)


Thelonious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone
Larry Gales, bass
Ben Riley, drums

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