East Meets West



Cat Nº: HONEY090


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REPRESS. Ahmed Abdul-Malik was best known to jazz listeners as a bassist with Thelonious Monk, Randy Weston, Coleman Hawkins, and many others. He made a few records as a leader, with this one being his most exotic. The Brooklyn native was of Sudanese descent; in addition to playing bass, he also plays oud, the forerunner to the lute. Originally released in 1960 the album is rich and heady, a multi-layered set of tonal grooves that are wrapped tight beneath the melody lines. The musicians on Malik’s eight originals vary from track to track. On the mournful “La Ibky (Don’t Cry),” Malik’s oud shares the spotlight with a tenor sax (either Benny Golson or Johnny Griffin) plus trumpeter Lee Morgan. “Rooh (The Soul)” features the 72-string kanoon (which is sort of a brittle sounding and much smaller harp) played by Ahmed Yetman, along with Malik’s arco bass and the droning violin of Naim Karacand. His ability to fuse Western Jazz with the driving rhythms created by his oud that seems almost sequenced, are startling.