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Rashied Ali, whose expressionistic, free-jazz drumming helped define the experimental style of John Coltrane’s final years, died Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 76.

The cause was a heart attack, said his wife, Patricia Ali.

Mr. Ali, who first encountered Coltrane in their Philadelphia neighborhood in the late 1950s, made the leap from admiration to collaboration in the mid-1960s, when he joined Elvin Jones as a second drummer with Coltrane’s ensemble at the Village Gate in November 1965.

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