Abdul-Malik, Ahmed [Tim, Jonathan] (New York, 30 Jan 1927 - Long Branch, NJ, 2 Oct 1993)

Double bass and 'ud player



He grew up in the multiracial environment of Brooklyn, and studied African and Middle-Eastern music as well as violin and double bass. As a double bass player he worked with Art Blakey (1948), Randy Weston (1954-7), Thelonious Monk (1957-8), Herbie Mann (1961), Earl Hines (1964), and Ken McIntyre (1971), and performed at jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland, and New York. He took his Muslim name in the mid-1950s. He played the 'ud, a Middle-Eastern lute, on a tour of South America that was sponsored by the US State Department (1961), and at one of the first important African jazz festivals, at Tangier, Morocco (1972); he also recorded on this instrument with John Coltrane (1961) and Hamiet Bluiett (1977). From 1970 he has taught at New York University; he also teaches in the department of African Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In recognition of his achievements in bringing the influence of Middle-Eastern music to jazz, Abdul-Malik was given Broadcast Music Inc's "Pioneer in Jazz Award" in 1984.

Selected Recordings


 As leader: Jazz Sahara (1958, Riverside 287); The Music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik (1961, New Jazz 8266); Ahmed Abdul-Malik/Sounds of Africa (1961-2, New Jazz 8282)

 As sideman: R. Weston: Get Happy with the Randy Weston Trio (1955, Riverside 203); T. Monk: Thelonious in Action (1957, Riverside 262); Misterioso (1958, Riverside 279)



 L. Feather: The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (New York, 1966/R1984)

 B. Coss: "The Philosophy of Ahmed Abdul-Malik," Down Beat, xxx/15 (1963), 14


 John Curry


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988