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Trumpeter Raphe Malik Dies at 59

Trumpeter Raphe Malik died March 8 at age 57 in Guilford, Vt., after a long illness. Malik excelled at high-energy free jazz, and is remembered for his work in Cecil Taylor’s various 1970s and ’80s bands.

Born Laurence Mazel in Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 1 1948, Malik spent most of his life in the Boston area. In high school, he was a regional New England tennis champion who also studied Mandarin Chinese through a State Department intensive language course. He later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and then Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he studied and played with Taylor, Jimmy Lyons and Andrew Cyrille.

In the early 1970s, Malik moved to New York City dropped his given name, Laurence Mazel, and took up the stage name Raphe Malik while playing with musicians including Jimmy Lyons, Sid Smart and William Parker. In the late’80s, Malik moved back to Boston, where he recorded albums with his group, the Raphe Malik Quintet.

In 1992, Malik married Marguerite Serkin, and the couple moved to Vermont where Malik built their house while teaching music at Bennington College and performing and recording.

At the time of his death, he had recorded more than 10 albums under his own name, most recently, 2004’s Sympathy on Boxholder.

Originally Published