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Malachi Favors

Malachi Favors

American bassist
Malachi Favors
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American bassist
Was Musician Banjoist Jazz musician
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 22 August 1927, Lexington, Holmes County, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Death 30 January 2004, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A. (aged 76 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Malachi Favors (August 22, 1927, Lexington, Mississippi – January 30, 2004, Chicago, Illinois) was a noted American jazz bassist best known for his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.


Favors primarily played the double bass, but also played the electric bass guitar, banjo, zither, gong, and other instruments. He began playing double bass at age fifteen and began performing professionally upon graduating high school. Early performances included work with Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard. By 1965, he was a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a member of Muhal Richard Abrams' Experimental Band.

At some point he added the word "Maghostut" to his name and because of this he is commonly listed as "Malachi Favors Maghostut." Musically he is most associated with bebop, hard bop, and particularly free jazz.

Favors was a protégé of Chicago bassist Wilbur Ware. His first known recording was a 1953 session with tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb. He made an LP with Chicago pianist Andrew Hill (1957). He began working with Roscoe Mitchell in 1966; this group eventually became the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Favors also worked outside the group, with artists including Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, and Dewey Redman.

Prominent records include Natural and the Spiritual (solo bass, 1977) and Sightsong (duets with Muhal Richard Abrams, 1975).

In 1994 he played with Roman Bunka (Oud) at Berlin Jazz Fest and recorded the German Critics Poll Winner album Color me Cairo.

Death and legacy

Favors died of pancreatic cancer in 2004, aged 76. Since his death, there have been several recorded tributes by fellow musicians (and especially Chicagoans), including Big M, A Tribute to Malachi by Kahil El'Zabar and the "Malachi Favors Suite" for unaccompanied double bass, composed and recorded by fellow Chicago bassist Karl E. H. Seigfried.


  • Natural & The Spiritual (solo 1977) – AECO Records

with Art Ensemble of Chicago

Title Year Label
Sound – Roscoe Mitchell Sextet 1966 Delmark
Old/Quartet – Roscoe Mitchell 1967 Nessa
Numbers 1 & 2 – Lester Bowie 1967 Nessa
Early Combinations – Art Ensemble 1967 Nessa
Congliptious – Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble 1968 Nessa
A Jackson in Your House 1969 Actuel
Tutankhamun 1969 Freedom
The Spiritual 1969 Freedom
People in Sorrow 1969 Pathé-Marconi
Message to Our Folks 1969 Actuel
Reese and the Smooth Ones 1969 Actuel
Eda Wobu 1969 JMY
Certain Blacks 1970 America
Go Home 1970 Galloway
Chi-Congo 1970 Paula
Les Stances a Sophie 1970 Pathé-Marconi
Live in Paris 1970 Freedom
Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass 1970 America
Phase One 1971 America
Live at Mandell Hall 1972 Delmark
Bap-Tizum 1972 Atlantic
Fanfare for the Warriors 1973 Atlantic
Kabalaba 1974 AECO
Nice Guys 1978 ECM
Live in Berlin 1979 West Wind
Full Force 1980 ECM
Urban Bushmen 1980 ECM
Among the People 1980 Praxis
The Complete Live in Japan 1984 DIW
The Third Decade 1984 ECM
Naked 1986 DIW
Ancient to the Future 1987 DIW
The Alternate Express 1989 DIW
Art Ensemble of Soweto 1990 DIW
America – South Africa 1990 DIW
Thelonious Sphere Monk with Cecil Taylor 1990 DIW
Dreaming of the Masters Suite 1990 DIW
Live at the 6th Tokyo Music Joy with Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy 1991 DIW
Fundamental Destiny with Don Pullen 1991 AECO
Salutes the Chicago Blues Tradition 1993 AECO
Coming Home Jamaica 1996 Atlantic
Urban Magic 1997 AECO
Tribute to Lester 2001 ECM
Reunion 2003 Around Jazz
The Meeting 2003 Pi
Sirius Calling 2004 Pi

With Hanah Jon Taylor & Vincent Davis

With Archie Shepp

  • Blasé (BYG Records, 1969)

With Roman Bunka

  • Color Me Cairo (Enja, 1995)

With Andrew Hill

  • So in Love (Warwick, 1960)

With Roscoe Mitchell

  • Before There Was Sound (Nessa Records, 1965; issued 2011)
  • Nonaah (Nessa Records, 1977)
  • The Flow of Things (Black Saint, 1986)
  • Hey Donald (Delmark, 1995)
  • The Day and the Night (Dizim, 1997)

With Dewey Redman

  • Tarik (BYG Actuel, 1969)

With Ahmed Abdullah Quartet

  • Liquid Magic (Silkheart, 1987)

With Charles Brackeen

  • Bannar (Silkheart, 1987)

With Dennis González

  • Stefan (Silkheart, 1987)
  • Namesake (Silkheart, 1987)

With Fred Anderson

  • Black Horn Long Gone (Southport Records, 1993)

With Kahil El'Zabar's The Ritual

  • Sacred Love (Sound Aspects, 1985)
  • Another Kind Of Groove' (Sound Aspects Records, 1986)

With Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio

  • The Ancestors Are Amongst Us (Katalyst Entertainment, 1987)
  • Alika Rising At Leverkusener Jazztage (Sound Aspects Records, 1989)
  • Renaissance of the Resistance (Delmark, 1993)
  • Big Cliff (Delmark, 1994)
  • Jitterbug Junction (CIMP, 1997)
  • Big Cliff (Delmark, 1994)
  • Conversations - Archie Shepp Meets Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio (Delmark, 1999)
  • Africa N'da Blues featuring Pharoah Sanders (Delmark, 1999)

With Tatsu Aoki

  • 2 x 4 (Southport Records, 1999)

With Wadada Leo Smith

  • Reflectativity (Tzadik, 2000)
  • Golden Quartet (Tzadik, 2000)
  • The Year of the Elephant (Pi Recordings, 2002)
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