Don Alias

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Don Alias
Born (1939-12-25)December 25, 1939
New York City, New York United States
Died March 29, 2006(2006-03-29) (aged 66)
New York City, New York United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, conga drums, percussion instruments, djembe
Associated acts Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock
Website Official website

Charles "Don" Alias[1] (December 25, 1939 in New York City – March 29, 2006 in New York City) was an American jazz percussionist.

Alias was best known for playing congas and other hand drums. He was, however, a capable drum kit performer: for example, Alias played drums on the song "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" from trumpeter Miles Davis's album Bitches Brew (1969) when neither Lenny White nor Jack DeJohnette were able to play the marching band-inspired rhythm requested by Davis.[2]

Alias performed on hundreds of recordings, and was perhaps best known for his associations with Miles Davis and saxophonist David Sanborn, though he also performed or recorded with the group Weather Report, singer Joni Mitchell, pianist Herbie Hancock, the Brecker Brothers, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Nina Simone and many others. Alias was born in New York City and arrived in Boston in the early 1960s intending to study medicine but, after playing congas in a number of local bands, made an abrupt career switch.


As sideman[edit]

With Philip Bailey

With Carla Bley

With Uri Caine

With Miles Davis

With Jack DeJohnette

With Joe Farrell

With Dan Fogelberg

With Bill Frisell

With Hal Galper

With Kenny Garrett

With Herbie Hancock

With Elvin Jones

With Joe Lovano

With Joni Mitchell

With Jaco Pastorius

With Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin

With Lalo Schifrin

With Nina Simone

With Steve Swallow

With James Taylor

  • Flag (Columbia, 1979)

With Weather Report

With Lou Reed

With Pat Metheny Group

With Don Grolnick Group


  1. ^ surname pronounced ah-LIE-ahs
  2. ^ see the notes for The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions (1998)

External links[edit]