Idris Muhammad

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Idris Muhammad
Idris Muhammad playing with Reggie Workman and Pharoah Sanders, c. 1978
Background information
Birth name Leo Morris
Born (1939-11-13) November 13, 1939 (age 74)
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Genres Jazz, bebop, hardbop, soul, funk
Occupations Drummer, composer
Instruments Drumset

Idris Muhammad (born Leo Morris on 13 November 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana; Arabic: إدريس محمد‎) is an American jazz drummer who has recorded extensively with a host of artists including Ahmad Jamal, Grant Green, Grover Washington, Hank Crawford, Gene Ammons, and Houston Person.[1]

He changed his name in the 1960s upon his conversion to Islam. He is known for his funky playing style. He has released a number of albums as leader, and has played with a number of jazz legends including Lou Donaldson, Johnny Griffin, Pharoah Sanders and Grover Washington, Jr. He has been touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal since 1995. At 16 years old, one of Muhammad's earliest recorded sessions as a drummer was on Fats Domino's 1956 hit "Blueberry Hill".

In 1966, he married Dolores "LaLa" Brooks (former member of the Crystals; she converted to Islam with him and went for a time under the name Sakinah Muhammad). They separated in 1999. Together, they have two sons and two daughters, and one daughter from a previous marriage to Gracie Lee Edwards-Morris. Muhammad is an endorser of Istanbul Agop Cymbals.

In 2012 Xlibris released the book Inside The Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad, which he wrote with his friend Britt Alexander. The book has been enthusiastically received by the music community and musicians hailed it as a great look into his legend.

Select discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Kamal Abdul-Alim

  • Dance (Stash, 1983)

With Nat Adderley

With Gene Ammons

With George Benson

With Walter Bishop, Jr.

With Rusty Bryant

With Paul Desmond

With Lou Donaldson

With Charles Earland

With Grant Green

With Benjamin Herman

  • Get In (1999)

With John Hicks

With Andrew Hill

With Freddie Hubbard

With Bobbi Humphrey

With Willis Jackson

With Ahmad Jamal

With J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding

With Rodney Jones

  • Soul Manifesto (1991)

With Keystone Trio

  • Heart Beats (1996)[2]
  • Newklear Music: The Songs of Sonny Rollins (1997)[3]

With Charles Kynard

With Joe Lovano

With Harold Mabern

With Don Patterson

With Houston Person

With Ernest Ranglin

With Pharaoh Sanders

  • Jewels of Thought (Impulse!, 1969)
  • Journey to the One (Theresa, 1980)
  • Heart is a Melody (Theresa, 1982)
  • Live (Theresa, 1982)
  • Shukuru (Theresa, 1985)
  • Africa (Timeless, 1987)

With John Scofield

With Shirley Scott

With Lonnie Smith

With Melvin Sparks

With Leon Spencer

With Sonny Stitt

With Gábor Szabó

  • Macho (Salvation, 1975)

With Randy Weston

  • Portraits of Duke Ellington (Verve, 1989)
  • Portraits of Thelonious Monk (Verve, 1989)
  • Self Portraits (Verve, 1989)
  • Spirits of Our Ancestors (Verve, 1991)

With Reuben Wilson


External links[edit]