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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Martin Drew, British Jazz Drummer, Dies at 66 - Obituary (Obit) -

Martin Drew, British Jazz Drummer, Dies at 66 - Obituary (Obit) -

Martin Drew, a British jazz drummer who was a member of the pianist Oscar Peterson’s internationally popular group for three decades, died on July 29 in London. He was 66.

The cause was a heart attack, his wife, Tessa, said.

Mr. Drew first worked with Peterson in 1974 at the celebrated London nightclub Ronnie Scott’s, where Mr. Drew was the house drummer. In that role he also accompanied Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and many other visiting American jazz artists.

He performed all over the world with Peterson from the mid-1970s until a few years before Peterson’s death in 2007. For most of that time the group also included the Danish bass virtuoso Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, who died in 2005.

Two other prominent former Peterson sidemen have died this year: the drummer Ed Thigpen in January and the guitarist Herb Ellis in March.

Born in Northampton, England, on Feb. 11, 1944, Mr. Drew made his professional debut at 13 and worked with various British jazz musicians before beginning a long association with the saxophonist Ronnie Scott, as the drummer both in his small groups and at the nightclub he ran.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Jason; two daughters, Danielle and Michelle; and three granddaughters.

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