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Ahmad Alaadeen (July 24, 1934 – August 15, 2010) was a jazz saxophonist and educator whose career spanned over six decades. A longtime fixture on the Kansas City jazz scene, Aladeen came to wider prominence in the 1990s with a series of self-released albums featuring his swing- and hard bop-oriented compositions that led Allmusic critic Scott Yanow to declare that the saxophonist "deserves to be much better known."
Born in Kansas City, on July 24, 1934, Alaadeen grew up around music. “I listened to all types of styles. I went to Philharmonic concerts, loved Lester Young, liked T-Bone Walker and was crazy about Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. He began on the saxophone when he was in sixth grade, in time also mastering flute, clarinet and oboe. He studied at R.T. Coles High School under the tutelage of Leo H. Davis, a well respected music instructor reported to have taught Charlie Parker. “The way he taught improvisation was to sing the melody in my ear when I soloed so I’d always keep the melody in mind.” Alaadeen debuted as a professional with Davis’ concert band playing e-flat horn when he was 14 and his first major job was playing baritone sax with the great pianist-bandleader Jay McShann. In later years he would rejoin McShann on tenor.
Education and early work
Alaadeen studied at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music (studying flute), St. Mary’s University (where he studied oboe) and DePaul University. He served in the military during 1957-59, being the Jazz saxophonist and principal oboist with the 4th Army Band. After his discharge, Alaadeen spent time in Chicago, playing in a program led by pianist-composer Richard Abrams that was the beginning of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians); other members included trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors.
After returning to Kansas City, Alaadeen continued to play and teach. He led the Deans of Swing in the 1990s, and the ensemble was picked in 1996 as Musician Magazine’s Best Unsigned Band.
To document his music, Alaadeen started the ‘ASR label. He was awarded the Kansas City's Jazz Heritage Award, the Missouri Humanities Council's Community Heritage Award, the Missouri Arts Award and Kansas City’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He died of cancer on August 15, 2010 at the age of 76.
and the beauty of it all Alaadeen ‘ASR Records Kansas City (2007)
New Africa Suite Alaadeen ‘ASR Records Kansas City (2005)
With This Voice Luqman Hamza Alaadeen featured Groove Note Records Recorded in Lenexa, KS (2000)
Louis Neal Big Band Alaadeen featured Kansas City, MO (1999)
Taken By Surprise Norman Hedman’s Tropique Alaadeen featured New York, NY (1999)
It’s A Wonderful World Alaadeen with Jay McShann Groove Note Records, Los Angeles, CA Recorded in Lenexa, KS (1999)
Time Through The Ages Alaadeen ‘ASR 2001 (1997) Kansas City, MO
Alaadeen and The Deans of Swing Plays Blues For RC and Josephine, too Alaadeen ‘ASR 1001 (1995) Kansas City, MO
Live Jazz on the Plaza Alaadeen Fandeen Publishing Company (1990) Kansas City, MO
Clear Sounds of Kansas City Sprint (1989) Kansas City, MO
Bright Lights - Big City Alaadeen with the City Lights Jazz Ensemble Accent Music (1988) Kansas City, MO
Tain’t What Cha Do, It’s The Way How Cha Do IT Alaadeen with the City Light Orchestra City Light Records (1986) Kansas City, MO
Raised Spirits Alaadeen with the City Light Orchestra City Light Records (1984) Kansas City, MO
Come Back Baby Federal 12266 Linda Hopkins Kansas City, Feb. 9th 1956 78" I'm Going To Cry You Right Out Of My Mind Federal 12266 Linda Hopkins Kansas City, Feb. 9th 1956 78" Mama Needs Your Loving Baby Federal 12365 Linda Hopkins Kansas City, Feb. 9th 1956 78" Danny Boy Federal 12365 Linda Hopkins Kansas City, Feb. 9th 1956 78"
Eatin’ Watermelon Alaadeen with Crown Prince Waterford and Jimmy Witherspoon (1950s)
- Google: Ahmad Alaadeen
- Mutual Musicians Foundation - past chair
- American Jazz Museum - featured Blue Room Musician
- Jazz Journalist Association article
- Riverfront Times (St. Louis) article
- Smithsonian Institution - American Jazz Museum All Stars at the Wayback Machine (archived February 15, 2004)