by Elliott Simon
A top sideman with Monk and Herbie Mann, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik must have realized that if he remained parochial it would result in complacency. Early in his career, he chose to explore his Sudanese roots and an association with pianist Randy Weston, known for his own Afro-Jazz blending, perhaps nourished this inclination. During these inquiries, he mastered the oud (a stringed instrument for the Arab world which is the equivalent in popularity to the guitar and piano combined for us ...read more
by David Rickert
Ahmed Abdul-Malik was a resourceful and versatile bassist capable of fitting in with the groups of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Mann, and others. On his few recordings as a leader, he dove head first into his fascination with African music, documented on the two early '60s sessions collected here on Jazz Sounds of Africa.
Other musicians with similar aspirations, such as Coltrane, simply fused African rhythms into a jazz context. Abdul-Malik created tunes that work solely with the ...read more