Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Article Bio Works Projects Video
additional name:
Rudy McDaniel
genre(subgenre):
Music (crossover, funk, HipHop, jazz)
instruments:
Bass
region:
America, North
country/territory:
United States of America
city:
Philadelphia, New York
created on:
May 16, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since July 2, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Article

The boss on the bass

The bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma is both outstanding and controversial. His work ranges widely from modern jazz through free funk, which he has helped develop, to hip-hop and rap. His playing has been criticised for over-riding his colleagues´, but no one seriously questions the mark he has left on later generations of jazz and funk bassists.
Jamaaladeen Tacuma was born in 1956 as Rudy McDaniel in Hempstead, New York and grew up in Philadelphia, where he showed an early interest in music. At the infants and the junior high school he sang in a doo-wop group and at the age of 13 was given his first bass guitar. He first sang in rhythm & blues formations and was taught by the bassist Tyrone Brown, with whom he later formed the bassist band Basso Nouveau. He studied the contrabass under various players, including Eligio Rossi from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
As a teenager he played with the organist Charles Earland and in doing so impressed the guitarist Reggie Lucas, then associated with Miles Davis. (Lucas´ feeling for young talent was later confirmed by his production of Madonna´s debut album.) Lucas introduced Tacoma, still only 19, to the free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, by whom he was at once hired for the new electrically reinforced band Prime Time. Together they recorded the album ´Dancing in your Head´, which is still recalled as a milestone. The joint playing of traditional Moroccan musicians and the group ´Prime Time´ presaged, on a stylistically higher level, the introduction of ethnic elements into modern jazz. At this time the explosive young bassist followed in the footsteps of many black musicians and sportsmen in adopting an Islamic name: Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

Tacuma soon took over Coleman´s notion of harmolodics, which replaced the earlier notion of harmonies underpinning melodic lines by a new notion of reciprocal interaction in the course of improvisation. With the producer Kip Hanrahan and the gitarrist James Blood from the Coleman circle, Tacoma developed this blend of improvisation and funk further. He thus became a figurehead of free funk and a founding father of punk jazz.

In the following years Tacuma co-operated on many labels and worked on projects of his own like the album ´Renaissance Man´ (1983). At times his generous playing led to the claim that he had indeed freed the bass from its traditional function as an accompanying instrument but only at the expense of trammelling its colleagues. This phase now belongs to the past. In playing with the saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnik for instance, he reveals his great sensibility and willingness to subordinate his playing to the overall impression.

Together with the drummer Webb Thomas, Tacuma founded the group ´Basso Nouveau´ which included not only his old pal Tyrone Brown but also two other top bassists: Gerald Veasley and Warren Oree. Recently he has also turned to projects which are nearer the musical mainstream. On albums like ´Groove 2000´ he turns to danceable rap and hip-hop and plays with the saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. whose allegiance to the avant-garde is questionable. But even after a quarter of a century of jazz onstage, Jamaaladeen Tacoma is still full of explosive surprises.

(Translation: Phil Stanway)

Author: Richard Berkowski

Bio

Jamaaladeen Tacuma was born on 11th June, 1956, in Hempstead, New York, under the name of Rudy McDaniel. He began playing bass at the age of 13, accompanied the organist Charles Earland in his teens, and was hired by Ornette Coleman for his band ´Prime Time´ at the age of 19 thanks to the talent-spotting of the Miles-Davis guitarist Reggie Lucas. In the following years he became a leading avant-garde bassist and protagonist of free funk. His notions and manner of playing have left a lasting mark on following generations of bassists, and he has recently turned at times to danceable rap and hip-hop.

Works

Jamaaladeen Tacuma featuring The Roots

Published Written,
2000
Groove 2000, 2000

Jamaaladeen Tacuma and The Roots

Published Written,
2000
Groove 2000. Remixes, 2000

Jamaaladeen Tacuma & The Roots, Da Jazz Pizazz Remix

Published Audio,
2000

Jamaaladeen Tacuma´s Brotherzone

Published Audio,
1999
Genetics Recording: Philadelphia 1999

Derek Bailey/Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Calvin Weston

Published Written,
1999
Miracle, Orange Music 1999

Music Revelation Ensemble, DIW

Published Audio,
1998
New York 1988

Ben Schachter Fractals

Published Audio,
1998
Philadelphia 1998

Burhan Öçal & Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Groove alla Turcam

Published Audio,
1998
Doublemoon: Istanbul 1998

Black Thought & Jamaaladeen Tacuma, The Hollers of the Horn

Published Audio,
1998
1998

Doran/Studer/Tacuma, Race the Time

Published Audio,
1997
Zürich 1997

Sylk 130, When The Funk Hits The Fan

Published Audio,
1997
Ovum: Philadelphia 1997

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Wolfgang Puschnig, Journey Into the Gemini Territory

Published Audio,
1996
ITM 1996

West End

Published Audio,
1996

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Dreamscape

Published Audio,
1995
Philadelphia: 1995

Fredy Studer/Christy Doran, Half a Lifetime

Published Audio,
1994
Unit: Hannover 1994

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Wolfgang Puschnig, Gemini-Gemini/The Flavors of Thelonious Monk

Published Audio,
1994
ITM: Wien 1994

Wolfgang Puschnig Group with Ernst Jandl, Mixed Metaphors

Published Audio,
1994
Amadeo: Philadelphia 1994

Pink Inc., Keys 2 the Kastle

Published Audio,
1994
Sweeca: New York 1994

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Dreamscape

Published Audio,
1994
Philadelphia: DIW 1994

YZ , The Ghetto´s Been Good To Me

Published Audio,
1993
USA 1993

Duck, See Goose

Published Audio,
1993
Clandestine: Los Angeles 1993

Duck, See Goose

Published Audio,
1993
Clandestine: Los Angeles 1993

Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Cornell Rochester, Meet The Podium 3

Published Audio,
1993
Timeless: Köln 1993

Red Sun/SamulNori, Then Comes the White Tiger

Published Audio,
1993
ECM: Seoul 1993

Jamaaladeen Tacuma with Basso Nouveau, The Night of Chamber Music

Published Audio,
1993
Moers Music: Moers 1993

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Dennis Alston, Sound Symphony

Published Audio,
1992
Moers Music: Moers 1992

Bazillus, The Regulator, featuring Eddie Harris

Published Audio,
1991
Zero: London 1991

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Boss of the Bass

Published Audio,
1991
Gramavision: New York 1991

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Wolfgang Puschnig, Gemini-Gemini

Published Audio,
1991
Wien 1991

Wolfgang Puschnig Group with the Amstettner Musikanten, Alpine Aspects

Published Audio,
1991
Amadeo 1991

Linda Sharrock & The Three Man Band

Published Audio,
1991
Moers Music: Moers 1991

James Watkins/Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Intense

Published Audio,
1989
1989

Grant Calvin Weston, Dance Romance

Published Audio,
1988
In + Out: Ludwigsburg 1988

Wolfgang Puschnig, Pieces of the Dream

Published Audio,
1988
Amadeo: New York 1988

Ornette Coleman/The Original Quartet & Prime Time, In All Languages

Published Audio,
1987
New York 1987

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Jukebox

Published Audio,
1987
Gramavision: New York 1987

Fool Proof, No Friction

Published Audio,
1987
A&R Recording Studios: New York 1987

Ornette Coleman & Prime Time, Live Tape

Published Audio,
1986
Wolfgang´s: San Francisco 1986

Ornette Coleman & Prime Time, Live Tape

Published Audio,
1986
1986

Ornette Coleman & Prime Time, Live Tape

Published Audio,
1986
1986

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Music World

Published Audio,
1986
Gramavision 1986

Khan Jamal, Thinking Of You

Published Audio,
1986
Spring House: Philadelphia 1986

Ornette Coleman And Prime Time-Opening, The Caravan Of Dreams

Published Audio,
1985
USA 1985

Cosmetic with Jamaaladeen Tacuma, So Tranquilizin

Published Audio,
1985
New York: New York 1985

David Moss, Full House

Published Audio,
1984
Moers Music 1984

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Showstopper

Published Audio,
1983
Gramavision 1983

The Golden Palaminos

Published Audio,
1983
OAO Studio: New York 1983

Cosmetic and Jamaaladeen Tacuma, (In The) Nightlife

Published Audio,
1983
Gramavision 1983

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Renaissance Man

Published Audio,
1983
Sinus Musik 1983

Cashmere, Let the Music Turn You On

Published Audio,
1983
Philly World 1983

Conjure, Music for the Texts of Ishmael Reed

Published Audio,
1983
New York 1983

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Live Tape, The Bottom Line

Published Audio,
1983
New York 1983

Nona Hendryx, Nona

Published Audio,
1982
OAO Studio: Brooklyn 1982

Cosmetic, Get Ready/Put It On

Published Audio,
1982
Gramavision 1982

Cosmetics, New Complexion

Published Audio,
1982
Rough Trade

Ornette Coleman & Prime Time, Live Tape

Published Audio,
1982
San Francisco 1982

Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters, There It Is

Published Audio,
1982
USA: OAO Studio 1982

Kip Hanrahan, Desire Develops an Edge

Published Audio,
1982
American Clave: New York 1982

Kip Hanrahan, Coup De Tete

Published Audio,
1981
American Clave: New York 1981

The Dial, A-Poem Poets, Life is a Killer

Published Audio,
1981
Giorno Poetry Systems 1981

Ornette Coleman, Of Human Feelings

Published Audio,
1979
New York 1979

James Blood, Tales of Captain Black

Published Audio,
1978
Artists House: New York 1978

Walt Dickerson Trio-Serendipity, SteepleChase

Published Audio,
1976
Players Palace: Philadelphia 1976

Ornette Coleman, Dancing in Your Head

Published Audio,
1976
Barclay Studios: Paris 1976

Ornette Coleman, Dancing in Your Head

Published Audio,
1976
Barclay Studios: Paris 1976

Ornette Coleman, Body Meta

Published Audio,
1976
Barclay Studios: Paris 1976

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

The Back Room

(01 January 98 - 14 June 05)
video

Concert excerpt

taken from "The Back Room - Musikprojekt"
play video