David Axelrod, Your Favorite Producer's Favorite Producer, Has Died at 83
The musical community lost a legend this past weekend. David Axelrod, a prolific producer, composer and arranger, died at the age of 83. The cause of his death has yet to be revealed.
A South Central native, Axelrod began his stint in music as a coveted studio drummer and producer, eventually landing on Capitol’s prestigious roster and aiding in the production of Cannonball Adderley‘s breakout “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.” His solo career was ever more fruitful, releasing nine albums between 1968 and 1980 that laid the foundation for fusion and jazz’s most soulful experiments. Those recordings are now widely considered to be one of hip-hop’s deepest and most gratifying troves for samples, akin to Bob James, Isaac Hayes, Kool & The Gang and the most borrowed sounds in r&b and funk. Axelrod’s hallmarks were not be defined by genre, seemingly creating his own with each striking string arrangement and heavy-rigged drum break; raw elements that would eventually fortify hip-hop like no musician before or after him.
Rest in peace, David Axelrod. Through hip-hop, your suites will live long after shelf-life. The playlist below provides all the proof you’ll ever need in determining Axelrod’s place amongst music’s most regal and adored producers.