Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ahmad Alaadeen, 1934-2010

Kansas City jazz saxophonist Ahmad Alaadeen died Sunday. He was 76. Here's the notice in The Star.

I have yet to see any mention of his work with The City Light Orchestra, so I'll start there. I included the band's 1984 release Raised Spirits in my listing of "The Ten Best Kansas City Jazz Recordings". The selection was partly sentimental. When I moved to Kansas City's Waldo neighborhood in the 1980s, the group was serving as the house band at City Light Restaurant. Alaadeen, the eldest member of the group, was the primary draw for me. I've been a fan ever since.

I shot the embedded video at the annual Charlie Parker gravesite service at Lincoln Cemetery in 2008. Alaadden is wearing a white hat and dark suit. Here's the best performance video online. This interview footage is also wonderful.

In my review for of Alaadeen's final public performance in April, I wrote "The saxophonist was also presented with the museum's Lifetime Achievement Award. His heartfelt acceptance speech was touching, but Alaadeen was even more eloquent during his stirring solo on "Full Moon At Midnight." The effort reminded the audience of about 200 of Alaadeen's lyrical gift. (The Star review is no longer online.)

Of the in-print Alaadeen albums I've heard, the post-Coltrane sound of New Africa Suite most appeals to me.

Alaadden has, of course, been referenced dozens of times at Plastic Sax. Here's a compilation of mentions at this site.


*Joel Francis eulogizes Alaadeen.

*Andrew Zender shared his thoughts on Alaadeen's passing.

*Here's The Pitch's notice. The publication also took pictures at a May 1 tribute to Alaadden at Salaam Cafe.

*Here's Alaadeen's Wikipedia entry.

*Details on this morning's service are here.

(Cross-posted from Plastic Sax.)

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