The American percussionist, jazz fusion pioneer and founding member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio Isaac ‘Redd’ Holt has died at the age of 91.
The influential Grammy-winning drummer began his career in the 1950s but had such a unique style that he ended up having a huge bearing on hip-hop with over 200 tracks sampling his drumming sound from De La Soul to Kendrick Lamar.
During his life, he also released several tracks in a songwriter capacity, embarked on humanitarian projects and progressed as an entrepreneur. He formed a distinct partnership with bassist Eldee Young, and even made music as a bandleader with Young in his ranks.
He hit the height of his success in 1965 when The Ramsey Lewis Trio’s acclaimed LP The In Crowd hit number two in the charts and went on to secure the Grammy in 1966 for ‘Best Instrumental Jazz Performance’. The record help to pioneer jazz fusion with the group welcoming an array of genres into their loose style.
According to his official biography, he then “toured Europe and Asia for several more decades.” Before hitting the studio in 2018 “first time since 1974 to record a compilation of some of his favorite tracks over the years. The album title It’s A Take comes from the literal groove behind the record. Every track was recorded in 1 take with no overdubs, completely live.”
He is survived by his three children, Isaac Lamont, Ivan Damoune and Reginald Lamar.