Khan Jamal, Jazz Vibraphonist, Died at the age of 75

Influential jazz vibraphonist Khan Jamal died in Philadelphia on Monday (January 10), WBGO reports. He was 75. Khan played with Sunny Murray in the ’70s, at Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society in the early’ 80s, joined the Sun Ra Archestra and later formed Cosmic Forces with some of the former members. of it. An avant garde experimentalist, he helped bridge the gap between free jazz and fusion.

Jamal was born Warren Robert Cheeseboro on July 23, 1946, in Jacksonville, Florida, but grew up in Philadelphia, where he began playing the vibraphone as a teenager in the ’60s. He studied at the Granoff School of Music and the Combs College of Music, and took private lessons with Bill Lewis, where he would later make an album of vibraphone-marimba duets.

He founded Sounds of Liberation in Philadelphia in 1970 with guitarist Monnette Sudler, alto saxophonist Byard Lancaster, Billy Mills on bass, Omar Hill and Rashid Salim on percussion, and Dwight James on drums. They only released one album, New Worlds, on their own Dogtown label in 1972. It was reissued to Porter Records in 2010, which led to renewed interest and the revision of a 1973 record made at Columbia University, released by 2019 in Dogtown/Brewerytown as Not released. His first solo album – as Khan Jamal Creative Art Ensemble – was in 1973 Drum Dance to the Motherland. It was recorded live in a small coffee shop in Philadelphia. In 2021, the Jazz Room will also release its 1984 “spiritual jazz” album Infinity.


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