Welcome to the Arabic Jazz blog!

Ahlan wa sahlan!

Welcome to my blog. I've created this blog to share information and news about music that mixes elements of jazz and Arabic music. I'll also share scores and transcriptions etc. for musicians.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ahmed Abdul Malik

Jazz Sahara (1958)

Ahmed Abdul-Malik (oud, bass); Jack Ghanaim (qanun); Naim Karacand (violin); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Al Harewood (drums), Mike Hamway, percussion

East Meets West (1958)

Ahmed Abdul-Malik (bass, oud); Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Benny Golson and Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophones); Ahmed Yetman (qanun); Naim Karacand (violin); Bilal Abdurrahman, Mike Hamway (Darabeka, daf).

The earliest attempt at jazz fusion with middle eastern music. Basically they play some dawalib (sing., doulab: short instrumental piece often used as an introduction) and improvise. Abdul Malik was a well-known jazz bass player of Sudanese descent, best known for his work with Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Both albums feature his Monk bandmate Johnny Griffin on saxophone along with various middle-eastern nightclub musicians and jazz musicians such as Benny Golson, and Lee Morgan.
Jazz Sahara is a strong album, while East Meets West is a little uneven (though with some excellent performances). In the liner notes to Jazz Sahara, Abdul-Malik pointedly avoids referring to the music as "Arabic", and suggest "Mid-Eastern" is more accurate because of the varied traditions involved. The oud playing is somewhat rudimentary, but the overall effect is compelling.

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