Roddie Gilliard, who performed with Black in the British group the Muffin Men, said Black died Nov. 1 of cancer in Siegsdorf, Germany, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
Black first gained notoriety when Zappa took over lead duties in his band, the Soul Giants, and changed the band's direction and name. Black later said Zappa's initial promise to make each member of the art rock band rich and famous fell slightly short.
"He took care of half of that promise," Black said, "because I'm damn sure I didn't get rich."
Through complex compositions and unique rhythms, the Mothers of Invention helped define the unusual art rock subgenre, the Times said.
Black also collaborated with Zappa after the Mothers broke up in 1969.
Black is survived by his wife, Monika; three sons; three daughters; and several grandchildren.