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Musician

Idris Muhammad

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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

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

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Article: Interview

Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn

Read "Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn" reviewed by Chris May


After five years without the release of any newly recorded material, the British trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has returned in winter 2020 with a fresh new band and a sparkling new album, Salute To The Sun, on his Gondwana Records label. It is more than good to have him and his music back.

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

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Article: Catching Up With

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May


With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

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Article: Interview

John Scofield: One For Swallow

Read "John Scofield: One For Swallow" reviewed by Ian Patterson


From time to time in his storied career John Scofield will take a look over his shoulder and re-examine some of the music that has fed into his own, personal brand of jazz. The influences are many, for no matter the context that Scofield engineers, his distinctive sound always carries something of the blues, a little ...

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Article: Album Review

Cheik Tidiane Seck: Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston

Read "Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston" reviewed by Chris May


A well-intentioned tribute to the late pianist, composer and pioneer of Maghrebi jazz Randy Weston by the keyboard player Cheikh Tidiane Seck, Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston never really gets off the ground. Seck, whose c.v. includes spells with Mali's Super Rail Band de Bamako, Les Ambassadeurs, Salif Keita and Amadou & Mariam, and Senegal's ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

CTI on BGO, Part 2

Read "CTI on BGO, Part 2" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


2018 proved to be a very good year for reissues of CTI-albums on the British label, BGO. They stepped up with an abundance of albums from the likes of guitarist Jim Hall, saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and flautist Hubert Laws (you can read about them here). So far, 2019 also looks promising and kicks off with releases ...

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Article: Live Review

Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2018

Read "Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2018" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival Various Venues Falcarragh, Ireland December 7-8, 2018 It only rained twice during the inaugural Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival--all day Friday, and then all day Saturday. Still, no amount of rain or wind could dampen the spirits of those who turned out to support this bold initiative ...


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