Tony Williams - Of course he went on to do a lot after but I love the work with Miles Davis (particularly the underrated 'Miles in the Sky'). People go on and on about rock drummers, but really, were any of them on a level with guys like this?
Tony Williams was the "baddest m*f* drummer ever" (according to Miles Davis). Alas, he died far too young. For the best hard fusion, there was Believe It. For the best modern bop, the Blue Note lineup starting with Foreign Intrigue. And of course there was the classic quintet with Miles in the 60's.
Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential jazz drummers to come to prominence in the 1960s, Williams first gained fame in the band of trumpeter Miles Davis and was a pioneer of jazz fusion. Williams was born in Chicago and grew up in Boston.