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My Turn

Idris Muhammad

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Album Review

Although Idris Muhammad was employed as a sideman on his share of soul-jazz sessions in the '70s, the drummer hasn't been terribly visible as a leader. So it came as a pleasant surprise when, in 1993, he sat in the driver's seat for My Turn, a decent collection of jazz-pop, soul-jazz, and R&B employing such big names as Grover Washington, Jr. (tenor and soprano sax), Randy Brecker (trumpeter and flügelhorn), Hiram Bullock (electric guitar), and Bob James (electric keyboards). Not unlike the type of project Muhammad would have gone for in the '70s, My Turn is far from straight-ahead hard bop but isn't a so-called "elevator jazz" date either. R&B, pop, and funk considerations are emphasized, but not at the expense of improvisational freedom. Washington and Brecker get in some inspired solos on tunes ranging from pianist Neal Creqe's funky "Dracula" to Washington's congenial "Happenstance," and Muhammad does a nice job combining pop and soul's accessibility with jazz's spontaneity. Those who like their crossover meaty instead of fluffy should enjoy this CD.

Biography

Born: 13 November 1939 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent drummer who appeared in many types of settings, Idris Muhammad became a professional when he was 16. He played primarily soul and R&B during 1962-1964 and then spent 1965-1967 as a member of Lou Donaldson's band. He was the house drummer at Prestige Records (1970-1972), appearing on many albums as a sideman. Of his later jazz associations, Muhammad played with Johnny Griffin (1978-1979), Pharoah Sanders in the 1980s, George Coleman, and the Paris Reunion Band (1986-1988). He recorded...
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