Ahmed Abdul-Malik was born Jonathan Tim, Jr. on January 30, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York. Taking violin lessons from his father, by age seven he was attending the Vardi School of Music and Art to continue his violin training. Over time he took up the piano, cello, bass, and tuba. He continued studying with local bassist Franklin Skeete before joining the High School of Music & Art in Harlem, where his skills on violin and viola earned him a spot in the All-City Orchestra.
In the mid-1970s, Abdul-Malik was a substitute teacher at Junior High School 281, in Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn as well as the strings instructor at Junior High School 117 in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant under the supervision of Andrew Liotta. While seeking a teaching certification, in addition to study under Liotta in orchestration and composition, Abdul-Malik also taught Sudanese in the junior high school language department. In the late 1970s he taught individual students private instruction in jazz improvisation at New York University.
Abdul-Malik is noted for integrating Middle Eastern and North African music styles in his jazz music. He recorded six albums as a leader with Johnny Griffin, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, James Richardson and Benny Golson. He also held down the sideman duties as the bassist performing and recording nineteen albums with Art Blakey, Randy Weston, Thelonious Monk, Earl Hines, John Coltrane, Walt Dickerson, Jutta Hipp, Odetta, Herbie Mann and Dave Pike among others.
As an oud player he was engaged as a musical ambassador by the United States Department of State to tour South America, and he also performed at an African jazz festival in Morocco. On October 2, 1993 double bassist and oud player Ahmed Abdul-Malik passed away at the age of 66.
Barbara Carroll was born Barbara Carole Coppersmith on January 25, 1925 in Worcester, Massachusetts. She began her classical training in piano at age eight, but by high school decided to become a jazz pianist. Attending the New England Conservatory of Music for a year, she departed because it conflicted with her performance schedule for bands.
In 1947 Leonard Feather dubbed her “the first girl ever to play bebop piano. The following year her trio, featuring guitarist Chuck Wayne and Clyde Lombardi on bass, worked briefly with Benny Goodman. Later on Wayne would leave and Charlie Byrd sat in the guitar chair and Joe Shulman took over Lombardi’s duties on bass. After Byrd’s departure, Carroll decided to have it be a drums, bass, and piano trio.
In the 1950s Carroll and her trio worked on the Broadway musical Me and Juliet by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The decade saw her career ebb due to changing musical tastes and personal concerns.
By 1972 she was able to revive her career due to a renewed interest in her work. In 1975 she was asked by Rita Coolidge to work on an A&M session. In 1978 she toured with Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson and the following two decades Barbara became known as a cabaret performer.
Pianist and composer Barbara Carroll was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and the “Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz”. She continues to perform and record.
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Allen Eager was born on January 10, 1927 in New York City and grew up in the Bronx. Reading by age 3, he learned to drive at the age of 9 with the help of his mother, after catching him driving a garbage truck near their hotels in the Catskill Mountains. He took clarinet lessons with David Weber of the New York Philharmonic at the age of 13 and went on to make the tenor saxophone his instrument.
When he was 15 Eager briefly played with Woody Herman and also took heroin for the first time. The next year he played in the Bobby Sherwood band, then went on to play with Sonny Dunham, Shorty Sherock, Hal McIntyre, Tommy Dorsey and John Bothwell all by 1945. After World War II he became a regular on the 52nd Street scene in New York, led his own ensemble there from 1945–47 and recorded his debut as leader for Savoy Records in 1946 with pianist Ed Finckel, bassist Bob Carter and drummer Max Roach.
Influenced by the playing of Lester Young, he was in good company with his contemporaries Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Al Cohn and others. He adopted the musical forms pioneered in bebop but also adopted the drug dependency of a lot of the bebop players in the 1940s. As a white saxophonist of the time, Eager was a member of several bands led by black musicians including Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, Charlie Parker, Red Rodney and Tadd Dameron by 1950.
During the Fifties he played with Gerry Mulligan, Terry Gibbs, Buddy Rich and Howard McGhee. He lived and performed in Paris from 1956-1957, returned to the States and recorded his last session for the next 25 years, The Gerry Mulligan Songbook with Mulligan leading. He essentially retired from jazz and while dealing with his own drug addiction did appear in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 book The Subterraneans as the character Roger Beloit. Allen went on to pursue other activities such as skiing, auto racing, and LSD experimentation with Timothy Leary. After several notable racing finishes at Sebring and Europe in 1963 a crash left him with broken bones.
He occasionally dabbled in music again, playing alto saxophone with Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, recorded a 1982 Uptown Records session titled Renaissance. He toured with Dizzy Gillespie and Chet Baker and played in England. Tenor and alto saxophonist Allen Eager passed away from liver cancer on April 13, 2003 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
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F. Bill Goodwin was born in Los Angeles, California on January 8, 1942. He is the son of announcer and actor Bill Goodwin of the Burns and Allen radio and television programs.His professional drumming career began in 1959 and has worked with Bil Evans, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Jim Hall, George Shearing, Bobby Hutcherson, June Christy, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett,, Mose Allison, and the Manhattan Transfer among others.
He joined vibraphonist Gary Burton when he brought him to the East Coast in 1969. After a three year stint with Burton’s group, Bill settled in the Poconos and worked the local hotels and resorts. It was there that he and bassist Steve Gilmore met. They are both charter members of the Phil Woods Quintet, joining at the quartets inception in 1974.
In the mid-Seventies Goodwin worked with Tom Waits on his Nighthawks at the Diner album and with Steely Dan. He has been a featured performer at the W. C. Handy Music Festival as a member of the festival’s All-Stars alongside guitarist Mundell Lowe and pianists/vocalists Johnny O’Neal and Ray Reach, vibraphonist Chuck Redd and guitarist Tom Wolfe.
Drummer Bill Goodwin won a Grammy for the Phil Woods albums More Live and At the Vanguard and has produced several albums for trumpeter Tom Harrell, Keith Jarrett, Gabor Szabo, Bill Plummer and Paul Horn. He currently teaches jazz drumming at William Paterson University while continuing to perform as the drummer for the Phil WoodsQuartet/Quintet and the Little Big Band.
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Louis Stewart was born January 5, 1944 in Waterford, Ireland. He began his professional career performing in Dublin showbands. In 1968 he performed at the Montreux International Jazz Festival with Irish pianist Jim Doherty and received the Outstanding European Soloist award.
He was offered and turned down a scholarship to attend Berklee Colege of Music for a job with Benny Goodman’s band in 1970. Stewart began recording as a leader in the 1976 with Louis the First. His sidemen have included Sam Jones, Billy Higgins, Peter Ind, Red Mitchell and Spike Robinson
During the late 1970s he began working with George Shearing, touring America, Brazil and major European festivals, and recording eight albums, including several in trio with bassist Niels-Henning Orsted-Pederson. Louis also appeared on albums with Joe Williams and J.J. Johnson.
As a leader his musical roots lean towards be-bop and material associated with Charlie Parker. Guitarist Louis Stewart has recorded twenty albums to date and has received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin and continues to perform, record and tour.
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