Khan Jamal (July 23, 1946 – January 10, 2022), born Warren Robert Cheeseboro, was an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. He founded the band Sounds of Liberation in 1970. He was described by Ron Wynn as "a proficient soloist when playing free material, jazz-rock and fusion, hard bop, or bluesy fare."
|Birth name||Warren Robert Cheeseboro|
|Born||July 23, 1946|
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
|Died||January 10, 2022 (aged 75)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Instruments||vibraphone, marimba, percussion|
|Associated acts||Byard Lancaster, Sunny Murray|
Warren Robert Cheeseboro was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 23, 1946. His father, Henry McCloud, worked as an entrepreneur; his mother, Willa Mae Cheeseboro, was a stride pianist. He was raised in Philadelphia, and began playing the vibraphone during the later part of his teenage years in the mid-1960s. Jamal attended the Granoff School of Music and the Combs College of Music.
Jamal first played for a group called Cosmic Forces during the later part of the 1960s. He also played with The Sun Ra Arkestra. After leaving the group, he teamed up with several other of its former members to play with Sunny Murray's group Untouchable Factor.
Jamal later co-founded Sounds of Liberation with Byard Lancaster in 1970. Its members included Monnette Sudler (guitar), Billy Mills (bass), Dwight James (drums), and Omar Hill and Rashid Salim (percussion). The band released its one and only album two years later, titled New Horizons, utilizing its own record label Dogtown. However, its popularity was limited to within Philadelphia. The album was eventually reissued on Porter Records in 2010. This gave the group a new lease on life, culminating in the re-emergence of a recording made at Columbia University in 1973. It was ultimately issued in 2019 as Unreleased on Dogtown/Brewerytown.
In addition to leading his own groups, Jamal has performed with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society in the 1980s, Joe Bonner, Billy Bang, Charles Tyler and others. His first solo album was Drum Dance to the Motherland, a live recording that was held in a small café in his hometown and first released in 1973. It was reissued by Eremite Records in 2020, with the label describing it as "the most legendary private press underground jazz album of the 1970s". Another solo album by Jamal, Infinity (1984), was reissued by Jazz Room in 2021 and dubbed "spiritual jazz" by WBGO.
Jamal's style connected the two contrasting forms of free jazz and jazz fusion. He was also noted for his skill of shifting modes and moods, as well as his versatile way towards music. He was a frequent performer at the Vision Festival.
|Drum Dance to the Motherland||1972||Dogtown|
|Give the Vibes Some||1974||Palm 10|
|The River||1978||Philly Jazz 1002, with Bill Lewis|
|Infinity||1984||Con'brio 001; Stash 278; Jambrio 1001; Jazz Room 006|
|Three||1985||SteepleChase with Pierre Dørge, Johnny Dyani|
|Thinking of You||1986||Storyville 4138|
|Speak Easy||1988||Gazell 4001|
|Don't Take No!||1989||Stash ST-CD-20|
|Percussion & Strings||1997||CIMP|
|Cubano Chant||2000||Jambrio 1002|
|Nothing Is Wrong||2003||CIMP with Odean Pope|
|Return from Exile||2005||Discograph 6124582|
|Fire and Water||2007||CIMP with Dylan Taylor-bass|
|Impressions of Coltrane||2009||SteepleChase|
- Wynn, Ron (1994), Ron Wynn (ed.), All Music Guide to Jazz, M. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, pp. 370–371, ISBN 978-0-87930-308-2
- Chinen, Nate (January 11, 2022). "Khan Jamal, vibraphonist who merged free jazz and fusion in a spiritual vein, is dead at 75". WBGO. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
- Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008) . The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (9th ed.). New York: Penguin. pp. 762–763. ISBN 978-0-14-103401-0.
- Ruiz, Matthew Ismael (January 12, 2022). "Khan Jamal, vibraphonist who merged free jazz and fusion in a spiritual vein, is dead at 75". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
- "Khan Jamal – Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
- Laing, Ralph (1981). Jazz Records: The Specialist Labels. 2. Jazzmedia. p. 413. ISBN 978-87-88043-01-3.
- Lord, Tom (1992). The Jazz Discography. Lord Music Reference. p. J-86. ISBN 978-1-881993-01-8.
- "Khan Jamal – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 12, 2022.