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Dennis Davis

Dennis Davis, a longtime drummer for David Bowie and Roy Ayers, has died of cancer, according to Rolling Stone. David Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti confirmed the drummer's death on Facebook.

Davis was born in Manhattan. He studied with the renowned jazz drummers Max Roach and Elvis Jones. He then joined the Clark Terry Big Band in 1967. He was later drafted and served in the Vietnam War.

He met guitarist Carlos Alomar while the two were playing with the jazz-funk artist Ayers. Both Davis and Alomar were hired by Bowie in 1974 to play on the "Young Americans" album. Davis also played on all three of Bowie’s Berlin trilogy records, which included the albums "Low," "Heroes," and "Lodger." Davis also played with George Benson and Stevie Wonder.


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Visconti paid tribute to Davis on Facebook as "one of the most creative drummers I have ever worked with. … He was a disciplined jazz drummer who tore into Rock with a Jazz sensibility. Listen to the drum breaks on 'Black Out' from the 'Heroes' album. He had a conga drum as part of his setup, and he made it sound like two musicians were playing drums and congas.

“There will never be another drummer, human being, and friend like Dennis, a magical man."

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