Muhal Richard Abrams

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

19 September 1930, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Abrams began studying piano at Chicago Music College at the age of 17 and started working professionally a year later. In 1955 he formed Modern Jazz Two + 3 with tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris. After this group folded, he kept a low profile until 1961, when he organized the Experimental Band, a contrast to his earlier hard bop venture in its use of free jazz concepts for a fluctuating line-up. The band evolved into the AACM, emerging in 1965 with Abrams as its president. He is an accomplished pianist and composer with a deep sense of tradition, and from the mid-70s has been able to record more frequently with his own groups (including an excellent big band). Abrams has also composed classical compositions for orchestra and jazz quartet, but it is as the spiritual leader of the AACM that he has probably made his most lasting mark. Despite being remembered by Leroy Jenkins as a thug when he was at school, in maturity, Abrams...

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