Born: October 3, 1949 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
My name is Hasan Abdur-Razzaq. My art forms include saxophone, cello, hand percussion, acrylic painting, linoleum block prints, and computer art. I am also a collector of jazz periodicals, historical information, photography, and poster art.
I was born in 1949 in Montgomery, Alabama, was raised in Cleveland and also have lived in New York, and presently- Columbus.
As a young man I always wanted to play an instrument. As I grew older I turned my artistic talents toward drawing and painting. This was a path that I continued to pursue throughout high school. It was also during this time however that I met some local musicians.
Alsphere Jennings, a drummer, is who I can say started me onto my path of a musical and creative pursuit in jazz. He suggested that I listen to Horace Silver on Blue Note, Yusef Lateef on Impulse, Psychichemotus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, I Talk To The Spirits, and John Coltrane on Impulse.
These recordings of course were not the end all to my listening experience but only the beginning of a long journey through the universal inception of ideas, possibilities, sound textures, and experimentation.
Curiosity drove me to seek out the bridge of transitional connectivity that fostered such force and power into a musical composition. Force and power, but not anger. Coltrane never expressed anger in his music. What may have appeared so was indeed his ability and foresight to combine many ideas at the same time, to be played, analyzed, and assessed all in a single musical statement.
The encounter of Coltrane as I like to refer to it, was one of the most significant advances in my quest to understand free jazz and the avant-garde.
After connecting the dots between all of the Impulse recordings and some from Prestige and Atlantic, I was able to piece together a progression, if you will, from sensitivity, blues, freedom, spirituality, and universal music.
It was in 1968 that I heard such greats as Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, Henry Grimes, Sun Ra, John Gilmore, Sonny Simmons, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the list goes on.
I believe we are existing in the space and time that has been given to us. Whatever we make of it, is who we are.
The revolutionary influences of this music has shaped my artwork and outlook on life. I also believe that there are no limits as to how far the music may advance.
So let us continue in the quest for enlightenment. John Coltrane said You have to keep cleaning the mirror. I would assume that meant- to get a clearer image of yourself.
- Hasan Abdur-Razzaq, June 2007
In 2007, I led a trio-- The Rejuvenation Trio, with Tom Abbs-bass,cello, and Ryan Jewell- drums & tabla. I also play regularly with members of the Columbus-based (Elevation Arts Project.) My most recent ventures have been concentrated on the new group Wizards. Playing and recording with this trio,(Adam Smith-drums, Gerard Cox-piano, and myself, on sax and cello), has been a great and challenging experience. Our latest recording, 1st Union - Reunion, is a must hear. Go to.... www.myspace.com/wizards1974
Awards:Invitational Members Exhibition 2007 Art for Community Expression, Columbus. Black Creativity Exhibition 2004 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Artist Honorarium 1996 Columbus Metropolitan Library, Martin Luther King Branch
Ohio trio Wizards, which featured the impressive sax work of free jazz veteran Hasan Abdur-Razzaq, whose caustic, spiritual tone recalled the roaring cries of Albert Ayler. - Kyle Long, NUVO - Indianapolis
His work combines elements of ecstatic free jazz with periods of more reflective sounds. Travel to Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and study of African rhythms through hand drumming, have contributed to his sound through a consciousness of global musical culture. Above all, Razzaq is motivated with bringing a level of sincerity and heartfelt expression to his music. - Steve Panton, Hamtramck / Edwin Gallery, MI
Review: Rejuvenation Trio: Rejuvenation Voyage - Sea of Tranquility - The Web Destination for Prog http://www.seaoftranquility.org/ - Ryan Sparks
Hasan Abdur-Razzaq : alto sax : reeds : cello
Ryan Jewell : drums : percussion
Tom Abbs : bass : cello
When Walls Exhale
Hasan Abdur-Razzaq : reeds
Gerard Cox : piano
Adam Smith : drums Hasan Abdur-RazzaqSolo Improvisations
alto and tenor saxophones
bass kick drum & high hat cymbal
processed cello Hasan Abdur-Razzaq
Thollem McDonas : piano
Marko Novachcoff : reeds
Michael Carey : reeds
Hasan Abdur-Razzaq : reeds
Joel Peterson : bass
Kurt Prisbe : drums
Steven Baker : Laotian mouth organ
Brad Duncan : Lecture
First Union Reunion
Hasan Abdur-Razzaq : tenor & alto saxophones
Gerard Cox : Rhodes organ : key bass
Adam Smith : percussion : and effects
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