Malachi Favors Maghostut

Malachi Favors is best known for his role as bassist in the critically acclaimed avant-garde group the Art Ensemble of Chicago. However, he was a key element of the group’s artistic success. Although he rarely soloed, Favors did occasionally write for the group. Favors was a vocalist and played a variety of instruments, including the banjo, banjo, and harmonica. Favors suggested that the band wear African clothing and face paint (a practice which Favors, Joseph Jarman, and Don Moye took up). Favors was also a solid member of the team, hard-swinging, having a rubbery bass sound and a well-developed sense for his place within the group. Favors was born in Chicago and began playing double bass at age 15. Favors was already a well-known figure in Chicago’s jazz scene when he joined Roscoe Mitchell’s group. Favors was a protege of Paul Chambers and Wilbur Ware, and recorded with Andrew Hill in 1957. Favors also performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard and other trumpeters. Favors formed a rehearsal group with Mitchell that covered the music of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Ornette Coleman. In 1961, he was part of Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band and started playing regularly with Mitchell in 1996. The Art Ensemble became his main outlet. However, he also played with Archie Shepp and Dewey Redman, who were all prominent free jazz musicians. Although he was mostly a sideman in his recording career, he did record an unaccompanied bass album for the Art Ensemble’s AECO labels in 1977 (Natural u0026 the Spiritual). His 1975 duo with Abrams (Sightsong), was one of the first Black Saint labels’ releases. Favors, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma, died in 2004. Chris Kelsey of All Music Guide

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