Book cover: Rebelmusic

Jazz and Islam: A Retrospective Series (P.3/B)

The Musicians

Text by Dawoud Kringle

The following are selected biographies of American Muslim musicians continued from here.

Pianist Sadik Hakim (a.k.a. Argonne Thorton 1919-83) got his start with Ben Webster, and eventually went to New York with him. He stayed with Webster, and also played with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He toured with Lester Young from 1946-48, and recorded “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid” in 1947. Around this time, he accepted Islam. From 1951-54 he toured with James Moody and from 1956-60 played with Bud Tate’s orchestra. In 1966 he moved to Montreal, Canada. After a time, he returned to New York, and toured Japan 1979-80.

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Rick Dellaratta

MFM Workshop “Make Music Your Business” #6 w. Rick DellaRatta

Jazz for Peace provides Empowerment Grants, sustainable funding and advocacy for non-profits and all outstanding causes worldwide for over a decade to enable them to be more productive and successful.

MFM Workshop #6 sceneDate: September 27, 2016
Venue: WeWork Wall Street (NY)

Review by Dawoud Kringle

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Docu Film: Stronger than Bullets (Lybia)

Stronger Than Bullets Docu FilmDuring the 2011 revolution, Libya’s underground musicians emerged to help free their country from Gaddafi’s rule.

Check out this 2015 film. Music and politics go hand in hand. Stronger than Bullets directed by American Matthew Millan  introduces the musicians who are free to play at last, and follows them as they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, guitar to rifle, alongside rebel fighters.

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Swiss sax player Christoph Irniger

CD Review: Christoph Irniger Pilgrim’s “Big Wheel”

Christoph Irniger PilgrimArtist: Christoph Irniger Pilgrim
Titel: Big Wheel Live
Label:  Intakt Records
Genre: nu jazz

CD Review by Dawoud Kringle 

A saxophone figure leaps forward with a texture resembling something like the marriage between a bongo and a plucked string instrument. It eases into its more traditional nature as a saxophone as the head of the song emerges. With the drums, bass, and piano flowing in and around each other like sonic arabesques, the saxophone played with Coltrane inspired melodies fitted into a very different aspect of jazz. The piano made its statement, while changing the direction the music went. The bass brought its say to the floor, and the guitar stepped forward and precipitated itself like raindrops in a gentle breeze before morphing into a series of distorted and processed textures that one rarely associates with jazz.

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Book cover: Rebelmusic

Jazz And Islam – A Retrospective Series (P.3/A)

The Musicians

Text by Dawoud Kringle

The following are selected biographies of American Muslim musicians.

Art Blakey (a.k.a. Abdullah ibn Buhauna) was born in 1919, and became a full time musician in his teens. He switched from piano to drums in the early 1930s. He played with Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. In 1942 he joined Mary Lou Williams, and later played with Fletcher Henderson. Between 1944-47 he played with Billy Eckstine, Dexter Gordon, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, etc. It was around this time that he accepted Islam, and took the name (Abdullah ibn Buhauna). In 1947 he traveled to Africa to learn about Islam and his African ancestry. His practice of Islam became central to his life and music. Blakey was reported to have hosted meetings of Muslims in his home. According to one account, Yusef Lateef had accepted Islam during one of these meetings. Blakey also used to hold a prayer session with the musicians in his group The Jazz Messengers before performances. In the 1950’s he performed with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, and Clifford Brown. In 1955 Blakey, Hank Mobley, and Silver formed a cooperative group, under the name The Jazz Messengers. This project continued into the late 1980s and served as a springboard for many musicians (e.g. Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Chuck Mangione, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, JoAnne Brakeen, Terance Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, etc).

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