Idris Muhammad of New Orleans and the World
50+ Years of Sublimely Creative Drumming and Music
A Special Edition of 'Jazz from the French Market' on WWOZ
Last February 20 Maryse Dejean and guest host Don Paul interviewed the great,
New Orleans-bred drummer and composer Idris Muhammad on a special edition
of Maryse's 'Jazz from the French Market' show on WWOZ.
They listened to tracks from Idris' 53 years as a recording artist and enjoyed his
many, varied recollections and insights and his huge warmth and charm as a story-teller and philosopher. Everyone in the studio smiled and laughed a lot.
Idris Muhammad, born Leo Morris in New Orleans' 13th Ward, nearby the Neville family, made hit records with Sam Cooke, Joe Jones, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, and Roberta Flack. Over five decades, he accompanied Pharoah Sanders, Grant Green, Ahmad Jamal, John Hicks, Randy Weston, David Murray, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield. He led seminal LPS of the early and middle 1970s--Black Rhythm Revolution, Rhythm And Peace, Power Of Soul, working with engineer Rudy van Gelder and band mates Grover Washington, Bob James, Randy Brecker, Ron Carter, and many more.
"I was gifted as a drummer. I could hear what a song needed.... Because New Orleans
is a drummers' town! ... They say I play with a heavy foot, from the bottom up...
I would always hear the bass-drum of the second-line and the tambourine of the
Indians ... The Nevilles was like family to me ... The love of a family means so much. It depends on how much love your mother and father have for each other, and they turn that over to you.... Max Roach said I could play jazz ... Records in those days was did LIVE in the studio.... I never thought I could be so happy in New Orleans.
Here you have great food, great music, and great people...."
Among the tracks we'll play in this reprise of the show with Idris are: "Rhythm'ning",
"You've Got To Have Freedom", "People Get Ready", "A Day In The Life", and Idris' compositions "Rhythm", "Wander" and "New Orleans."