Abrams, Muhal Richard, 1983 April 5
Scope and Contents
Composer and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams lectured April 5, 1983 at the University of Connecticut (2015-0002/RR97).
RR 97 Hale Smith introduces jazz musician Muhal Richard Abrams. Mr. Abrams spoke about his personal background and continued on with the creation of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
- 1983 April 5
- Abrams, Muhal Richard, 1930-2017 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.
Biographical / Historical
Muhal Richard Abrams was a pianist and composer who was active in Chicago and New York City for over 40 years. Born on 19 September 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, Abrams attended the Governors State University, in the late 1940s and studied piano at the Chicago Musical College for four years. He has played, arranged, and composed for musicians King Fleming, Walter Perkins, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, and Eddie Harris for the first twenty years of his career. In 1961, Abrams helped to form the Experimental Band, one the earliest free-jazz groups. In 1965, Abrams was instrumental in founding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; he served as its first president. During his time as an administrator, Abrams encouraged young musicians to study the history of jazz and also to experiment with new forms. As a result of his encouragement, Abrams had a deep influence on Lester Bowie, Anthony Braxton, and George Lewis.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Abrams continued to perform frequently, usually with important avant-garde musicians. Due to tours in Europe, Abrams became more internationally known which led to numerous commissions and awards. In the 1990s Abrams continued to perform often and recorded occasionally. Abrams’s works as a pianist reflects his interest in music of many genres, among them stride piano (especially the music of James P. Johnson), free jazz, and 20th-century art music. He died October 29, 2017.
[African American National Biography, accessed June 29, 2015, via Oxford African American Studies Center database. / https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/obituaries/muhal-richard-abrams-dead-idiosyncratic-pianist-and-composer.html / https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhal_Richard_Abrams)
1 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recording) : RR 97 1 reel, 00:47:44; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.
Language of Materials
From the Series: English
- African American composers Subject Source: Fast
- African American musicians Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans in popular culture Subject Source: Fast
- Black Experience in the Arts Course (University of Connecticut) -- Sound recordings Subject Source: Local sources