Reviews that mention Malachi Favors

February 6, 2019

Roscoe Mitchell

Delmark DE 4408

Milford Graves


Corbett vs. Dempsey CvsDCD052

Bobby Naughton/Leo Smith/Perry Robinson

The Haunt

NoBusiness Records NBCD 105

Instant Composers Pool


Corbett vs. Dempsey CvsDCD056

Cosmic Forest

The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

MPS 4029759122562

Something in the Air: CD Reissues help define the massive musical changes of the 1960s and 1970s

By Ken Waxman

February 12, 2011

Lest We Forget:

Malachi Favors (1927-2004)
By Ken Waxman

Trickster to the end, when bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut died of pancreatic cancer in early 2004, his daughter revealed that he had actually born 10 years earlier than his previously accepted 1937 birth date. In a way that concluding jape was perfectly in character for the versatile bassist who from the mid-1960s until his death was a vital component of the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC). The quintet proved that theatricism in the form of face paint, costumes, so-called “little instruments” and stylistic turns could be the source of profound and searching modern jazz – or if you prefer Great Black Music Ancient to the Future. MORE

September 8, 2010

Fred Anderson

Black Horn Long Gone
Southport S-SSD 0128

Celebration rather than lamentation, Black Horn Long Gone’s apt but ungrammatical title was tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson’s response when asked what happened to the sleek ebony horn he played on this early 1993 session. Unfortunately his death at 80 in late June, gives the CD an added poignancy to the statement, not initially envisioned when this CD release was planned.

Metaphorically – and literally – “long gone” are also the two musicians who accompany Anderson (born 1929) on this high quality session. Both bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut (1927-2004) and drummer Ajaramu (1926-2006) were the saxophonist’s long time Chicago associates in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Separately over the years, Favors, linchpin of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Ajaramu were stylistic chameleons, able to work with everyone from tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons to pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Together, they were more than a rhythm section. Their individual inventiveness dovetails with Anderson distinctive horn cadences on the eight tunes here to produce almost ineffable results. MORE

October 10, 2005

The Velvet Lounge: On Late Chicago Jazz

by Gerald Majer
Columbia University Press

By Ken Waxman

A non-faction memoir of tales that may or not have happened, this volume is, to overstate the case a bit, sort of an American À la recherche du temps perdu. Gerald Majer, an English professor at Villa Julie College in Baltimore, utilizes his listening experiences involving major Chicago jazz musicians, as an entrée to his ruminations and meditations on growing up in that Midwestern city.

Don’t be fooled by the photograph of tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson on the cover or the two-page discography at the end of the volume however. Although Majer deals, in greater or lesser degrees, with the sounds of, among others, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, Anderson, bandleader Sun Ra, multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Art Ensemble of Chicago members Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors, this is no music encyclopedia or a collection of album and CD reviews. MORE

March 7, 2005


Mean Ameen
Delmark DE-559

Sirius Calling
Pi Records Pi 11

An organization’s influence is reflected in how well it continues to evolve after it becomes old enough to become established. So it is with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music. Heading into its fifth decade, its membership has dispersed away from Chicago -- though the majority of AACMers, young and old, continue to reside in the Windy City -- and some of its more prominent members are starting to die. MORE

March 8, 2004


Tribute to Lester
ECM 1808

The Meeting
PI Recordings PI07

Could the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC) continue performing after the November 1999 death of Lester Bowie following 30 years of close collaboration? Sure, each members had his own side projects over the years and the band had survived the defection of reedman Joseph Jarman in 1993, but going on without the flamboyant presence of the lab-coat wearing trumpeter appeared impossible.

As Bowie once famously replied to another question: “Well, I guess it all depends on what you know,” and chuckled evilly. Not only did the three remaining members regroup to turn out TRIBUTE TO LESTER, but then the unexpected happened. Jarman brought his collection of reeds to mesh with the sounds from fellow reedist Roscoe Mitchell, plus bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye on THE MEETING, although the title may suggest a non-permanent hook-up. MORE

November 3, 2003


Old Time Revival
Entropy Stereo Records ESR 014

In Chicago
Asian Improv Records AIR 0063

Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) exemplar, and its southern roots, underlines the creativity of the combos on both these discs.

Although only three of the nine players involved are AACM members -- the late trumpeter Ameen Muhammad, bassist Malachi Favors and drummer Alvin Fielder -- the cooperative archetype that the Chicago association feels must be mixed with creative improvised music is on show each time. MORE

December 30, 2002


The Year of the Elephant
Pi Recordings P104

Without trying to be flippant, it seems that a lot of Miles Davis' conception has rubbed off on trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith since did his YO, MILES! tribute disc with guitarist Henry Kaiser a couple of years back.

While this new CD with his all-star Golden Quartet only pays homage to Davis on two tracks, much of Smith's Harmon-muted work here resembles the sort of brass constructions Miles used in the period from IN A SILENT WAY through BITCHES BREW and beyond. Smith doesn't come up with an outright imitation, or produce a CD that's less than attractive. It's just with the talent involved, you feel so much could have been accomplished. As a matter of fact when you're not reminded of Miles here, the tunes often take on that air of precocious profundity that characterize the style of Keith Jarrett, a former Davis sideman and present employer of drummer Jack DeJohnette. MORE

October 7, 2002


Sunshine & An Even Break (never give a sucker)
Fuel 2000 Records 302 061 215 2

Potentially the time when Energy music of both the American and European varieties reached the zenith of acceptance, 1969 was also unique because it suddenly seemed that the very fabric of society was ripping apart.

Riots were commonplace on both continents. Radicalized students were staging sometimes-violent demonstrations to demand more liberalized education processes and to protest against local repression and the war in Viet Nam. Fringe groups had turned to kidnapping, bomb throwing and arson in Europe, while in the U.S., the Black Power Movement had moved into its short-lived, so-called revolutionary phrase. MORE

September 20, 2000


Africa N'da Blues
Delmark DE-519

Chicago percussionist Kahil El'Zabar is one younger musician who makes it a point to interact with the jazz pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s. A longtime member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, he has built the Ritual Trio around the talents of veteran AACMers Brown and Favors, who is also a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. More to the point the percussionist has played and recorded with other sound pioneers from that time including saxophonists Fred Anderson, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Joseph Jarman, Archie Shepp and now Pharoah Sanders.