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Muhal Richard Abrams Remembers Jodie Christian

Feb. 2, 1932-Feb. 13, 2012

Jodie Christian

I first heard Jodie Christian around 1952-53, long before we started the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). We were all Chicago jazz musicians. There was a bassist we used to call “Cowboy,” and he was talking about this good pianist he played with; that was the first I heard about Jodie. He was phenomenal even then; as a musician he had natural abilities. He was playing mainstream jazz at the time. We were all playing standards, more or less, while we were putting the AACM together.

Jodie participated in organizing the AACM. He was one of the founders. There were four of us who got together-Jodie, drummer Steve McCall, composer Phil Cohran and myself-to discuss the possibility of putting together a formal association of musicians to play original music. Our ideas about what we wanted to do with music were growing.

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