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Idris Muhammad

Idris Muhammad was born on November 13,1939, and began playing the drums at age 8 in his native New Orleans. By the time he was 16, he was performing in jazz bands. Muhammad became known as one of the most innovative drummers in soul music of the 1960's, performing with singers Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, and The Impressions. He played for the popular musical Hair while performing with the house band for the Prestige Label in the early 1970's. For the rest of that decade, he accompanied popular singer Roberta Flack, led his own band, and worked with Johnny Griffin and Pharaoh Sanders. An excellent drummer who has appeared in many types of settings, Idris Muhammad became a professional when he was 16. He played primarily soul and R&B during 1962-1964 and then spent 1965-1967 as a member of Lou Donaldson's band. He was the house drummer at Prestige Records (1970-1972), appearing on many albums as a sideman. Of his later jazz associations, Muhammad played with Johnny Griffin (1978-1979), Pharoah Sanders in the 1980s, George Coleman, and the Paris Reunion Band (1986-1988). He has recorded everything from post-bop to dance music as a leader for such labels as Prestige, Kudu, Fantasy, Theresa, and Lipstick. Muhammad's 1993 recording My Turn includes saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and trumpetor Randy Brecker, both of whom are also featured performers in this year's 25th Annual University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert.


Liner Notes

CTI Acid Jazz Grooves by Various Artists

Read "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves by Various Artists" reviewed by Arnaldo DeSouteiro

The CD you are holding in your hands is a very special compilation. It's the celebration of CTI as one of the most “sampled" labels on Earth! For the past ten years, many CTI tracks have been cut up, sampled, scratched and looped to create new songs for a new audience. Many of the selections on this album (all of them produced by Creed Taylor and engineered by Rudy Van Gelder) represented the basic inspiration and major influence in the ...

Liner Notes

Lou Donaldson: Say It Loud

Read "Lou Donaldson: Say It Loud" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the sound of jazz could be heard lingering in the smoky corners of neighborhood bars in every major city from New York to Los Angeles. These ghetto hangouts were on what was often called the 'chitlin' circuit,' a network of predominantly black operated venues that presented organ combos as the norm. Be it at The Smiling Dog Saloon in Cleveland or The Front Room in Newark, jazz and more ...

Album Review

Pharoah Sanders Quartet: Live At Fabrik

Read "Live At Fabrik" reviewed by Chris May

One reason Pharoah Sanders was such a special artist was the prismatic nature of his music. When Sanders lit on to a new avenue of investigation, he did not in the process reject what he had been doing up until that moment. Instead, he wove the new perspective into the existing structure, enriching rather than replacing it. The result was a rainbow in which the joins between what might have been, in lesser hands, incompatible instead became inaudible, and the ...


Idris Muhammad: Coming to Grips with His Greatness

Read "Idris Muhammad: Coming to Grips with His Greatness" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

This interview was originally published on May 2002. “Style? No, I just play, man. I don't really have a style. Just being able to play music is a style, you know?" says the veteran drummer master Idris Muhammad in his laid-back and understated style. Others know better than to take that self-effacing comment at face value. His style developed into a unique sound over the years, a jny: New Orleans-based rhythm that has influenced many other ...

Book Review

Idris Muhammad with Britt Alexander: Inside The Music – The Life of Idris Muhammad

Read "Idris Muhammad with Britt Alexander: Inside The Music – The Life of Idris Muhammad" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Inside the Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad Idris Muhammad with Britt Alexander 235 pages ISBN: 978-1-4691-9216-1 XLibris Corporation 2012 In popular music, particularly before musicians' credit listings became the norm on records, drummers --and really all rhythm section stalwarts--worked in obscurity no matter how brilliant their playing was. A case in point is the legendary New Orleans funk/soul/jazz drummer Idris Muhammad (or Leo Morris prior to his conversion to Islam). Known more ...

Album Review

Lou Donaldson: Say It Loud!

Read "Say It Loud!" reviewed by Germein Linares

Lou Donaldson's Say It Loud! is finally on CD. Recorded for Blue Note in '69, this is one of several late-'60s albums by the legendary alto saxophonist that tend to get little respect. That's too bad, really. Apart from sporting a very capable band in trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist Jimmy Ponder, organist Charles Earland and drummer Leo Morris, the five selections on Say It Loud! are undeniably fun.True, there aren't great answers on God or the circle of ...

Album Review

Idris Muhammad: Power Of Soul

Read "Power Of Soul" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

“Epic Records” is in the process of reissuing sixteen titles from the popular 70’s contemporary jazz label, “CTI.” Formed by produced Creed Taylor, this label may have been the forerunner for what now is coined, “smooth or contemporary jazz.” Hence, many of the recordings by artists such as pianist, Bob James, flutist, Hubert Laws, and others, might signify an antithesis to the ear candy we currently hear on the light-jazz airwaves. Besides, “CTI” bore a signature audio sound thanks to ...

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Idris Muhammad, legendary New Orleans drummer, is dead at 74

Idris Muhammad, legendary New Orleans drummer, is dead at 74

Source: Michael Ricci

Idris Muhammad, whose drumming crossed over several musical styles including funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues, died Tuesday (July 29). He was 74. Muhammad's death was confirmed by close friend Dan Williams, who got to know Muhammad through Williams' Jazz Journey concert series sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Williams learned of Muhammad's death through family members in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A converted Muslim, Muhammad was immediately buried in accordance with the traditions of Islam, Williams said. ...


Performance / Tour

Roberto Magris Performing and Recording in Los Angeles with Idris Muhammad by PCAMI*

Roberto Magris Performing and Recording in Los Angeles with Idris Muhammad by PCAMI*

Source: All About Jazz

PCAMI* is proud to present, in conjunction with the Italian Institute of Culture-Los Angeles, a new CD Showcase of Kansas City Outbound with a Legends of Jazz Tribute and performance with international jazz icon, ROBERTO MAGRIS Sunday, December 7, 2008 starting at 8pm at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, CA This historical and classic evening will feature one of the most sought after musical stylist, who has for over 50 years blended soul, R&B, pop, and jazz into a ...


Book / Magazine

Traps Covers It All: Third Issue Features Unpublished Material on John Bonham Plus Soul-Jazz Pioneer Idris Muhammad and Conga Legend Candido Camero

Traps Covers It All: Third Issue Features Unpublished Material on John Bonham Plus Soul-Jazz Pioneer Idris Muhammad and Conga Legend Candido Camero

Source: All About Jazz

Enter Music Publishing, publishers of diverse, drum/percussion magazines worldwide, has released Traps Issue Three, its first rock cover story, on Zepellin's John Bonham. Brilliantly organized into eight “chapters" by Traps editor, Andy Doerschuk, this 25-page tribute to Bonzo is proof once again that Traps is committed to its editorial mission: covering 'The Art of Druming" in unique, creative ways, whether it's jazz, rock or somewhere in between.

As previously announced in “Traps Swings To Success", the magazine's premiere issue was ...


Paul Abella



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Live At Fabrik

Jazzline Classics


Power Of Soul

Epic Records


Right Now

Lipstick Records


Jacaranda (Enhanced...

Jazz Station Records




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