The initial lineup of the Leaders was put together by trumpeter Lester Bowie, alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, and tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, along with a rhythm section of pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Famoudou Don Moye. The Leaders released three albums in the late 1980s. The rhythm players also recorded one album on their own as The Leaders Trio (Heaven Dance, 1988).
In 2007, a reconstituted Leaders consisting of Freeman and McBee alongside Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Bobby Watson on bass, Fred Harris on piano, and Billy Hart on drums released the album Spirits Alike.
- 1986: Mudfoot (Black-Hawk)
- 1987: Out Here Like This (Black Saint)
- 1988: Unforeseen Blessings (Black Saint)
- 1988: Heaven Dance (Sunnyside), piano trio album
- 2007: Spirits Alike (Double Moon)