30 January 1927, New York City, New York, USA, d. 2 October 1993, Long Branch, New Jersey, USA. Abdul-Malik enjoyed successful careers in two musical areas, often combining them. As a jazz bass player, he performed with enough major artists to secure a firm place in the jazz history books. He accompanied Art Blakey and Don Byas in 1948, Randy Weston for three years starting in 1954, Thelonious Monk in 1957 and 1958, Herbie Mann in 1961, Earl Hines in 1964, and Ken McIntyre in 1971, and appeared at jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland and New York. Abdul-Maliks other area of expertise developed after studying African and Middle-Eastern music at university. Playing the ud (similar to a lute), he recorded with John Coltrane in 1961, and undertook a US State Department-sponsored tour of South America the same year. Having played at the historic African Jazz Festival in Tangier in 1972, and recorded with Hamiet Bluiett in 1977, Abdul-Malik was a deserving recipient of the BMIs Pioneer in Jazz Award in 1985. From 1970 he taught at New York University and in the Department of African Studies at Brooklyn College.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.