Producer, musician and DJ Questlove also paid fulsome tribute to a man he said was "immersed in creativity".
A staff producer and A&R exec for Capitol in the '60s, Axelrod eventually earned enough clout to release solo recordings of his own, starting with 1968's Song of Innocence and the following year's Songs of Experience - a two-album tribute to the poetry and visual art of William Blake. He produced David McCallum's 1967 album Music: A Bit More of Me, featuring 'The Edge, ' a track sampled by Dr. Dre on his 2000 hit 'The Next Episode'.
His continuing success as a producer at Capitol gave Axelrod the opportunity to integrate his own compositions into his work, and even to make his own albums. "Live at 'The Club", while also collaborating with U.S. psych-rock heroes the Electric Prunes on their 1968 album Mass in F# Minor.
Axelrod, whose 1960s and 1970s jazz fusion records were rediscovered and sampled by hip hop artists including De La Soul, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow and Swizz Beats, passed away on Sunday (05Feb17).
DJ Shadow tweeted of Axelrod, "I'll never forget meeting him for the first time in 1998". "David could be incredibly intimidating, & he did not suffer fools...but if he liked & respected you, he was the most loyal friend on earth", Shadow told Twitter followers.
"So honored to have known you David, you are a bonafide (sic) hero to an entire generation of hip-hop kids and musical dreamers". Subsequently, Axelrod released an eponymous album in 2001 on the British dance label Mo'Wax.
"So sad to hear about the passing of musician/composer #DavidAxelrod", Questlove wrote on in a tribute posted to Instagram. As such, he became something of a hip-hop forefather.
This story is developing.