Idris Muhammad

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Idris Muhammad
Idris Muhammad playing with Reggie Workman and Pharoah Sanders, c. 1978
Background information
Birth name Leo Morris
Born (1939-11-13)November 13, 1939
New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Died July 29, 2014(2014-07-29) (aged 74)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
Genres Jazz, bebop, hardbop, soul, funk
Occupation(s) Drummer, composer
Instruments drums

Idris Muhammad (Arabic: إدريس محمد‎; born Leo Morris; November 13, 1939 – July 29, 2014) was an American jazz drummer who recorded extensively with many musicians, including Ahmad Jamal, Lou Donaldson, Pharoah Sanders, and Tete Montoliu.[1]


Muhammad was an endorser of Istanbul Agop Cymbals.[citation needed]

In 2012 Xlibris released the book Inside The Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad, which he wrote with his friend Britt Alexander. He died aged 74 in 2014.[2][3]

Personal life

He changed his name in the 1960s upon his conversion to Islam. In 1966, he married Dolores "LaLa" Brooks (former member of the Crystals; she converted to Islam with him and went for a time under the name Sakinah Muhammad). They separated in 1999. Together, they had two sons and two daughters, and he had one daughter from a previous marriage to Gracie Lee Edwards.[4]


Idris Muhammad is probably best known for his album Power of Soul, which included the tune Loran's Dance, which received considerable airplay on jazz radio stations.

As leader

As sideman

With Kamal Abdul-Alim

  • Dance (Stash, 1983)

With Nat Adderley

With Eric Alexander

With Gene Ammons

With George Benson

With Walter Bishop, Jr.

With Rusty Bryant

With George Coleman

With Hank Crawford

With Paul Desmond

With Fats Domino

  • Blueberry Hill (1956)[5]

With Lou Donaldson

With Charles Earland

With Grant Green

With Johnny Griffin

With Benjamin Herman

  • Get In (1999)

With John Hicks

With Andrew Hill

With Freddie Hubbard

With Bobbi Humphrey

With Willis Jackson

With Ahmad Jamal

With Bob James

  • Touchdown (Tappan Zee, 1978)

With J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding

With Etta Jones

With Rodney Jones

  • Soul Manifesto (1991)

With Keystone Trio

With Charles Kynard

With Joe Lovano

With Johnny Lytle

With Harold Mabern

With Tete Montoliu

With Tisziji Munoz

  • Visiting This Planet (Anami Music, ?)
  • Hearing Voices (Anami Music, ?)

With Don Patterson

With Houston Person

With Ernest Ranglin

  • Below the Bassline (Island, 1998)

With Roots

With Pharoah Sanders

With John Scofield

With Shirley Scott

With Lonnie Smith

With Melvin Sparks

With Leon Spencer

With Bob Stewart

With Sonny Stitt

With Gábor Szabó

  • Macho (Salvation, 1975)

With Stanley Turrentine

With Randy Weston

  • Portraits of Duke Ellington (Verve, 1989)
  • Portraits of Thelonious Monk (Verve, 1989)
  • Self Portraits (Verve, 1989)
  • Spirits of Our Ancestors (Verve, 1991)

With Reuben Wilson

With Roberto Magris

  • Mating Call (JMood, 2010)



  1. ^ Idris Muhammad at AllMusic
  2. ^ Obituary in Times Picayune
  3. ^
  4. ^ Chinen, Nate (8 August 2014). "Idris Muhammad, Drummer Whose Beat Still Echoes, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  5. ^ cite news|last1=Morton|first1=Brian|title=Idris Muhammad: New Orleans jazz drummer who played as a teenager on Fats Domino’s hit single 'Blueberry Hill'|url= August 2014|newspaper=The Independent|date=8 August 2014}}
  6. ^ Allmusic Heart Beats review
  7. ^ Allmusic Newklear Music review
  8. ^ "Paul's Boutique Samples and References List". 
  9. ^ "Chrome Sparks's Marijuana sample of Idris Muhammad's Could Heaven Ever Be Like This". 
  10. ^ "Jamie xx feat. Romy Madley Croft's Loud Places sample of Idris Muhammad's Could Heaven Ever Be Like This". 

External links

  • Interview in Allaboutjazz
  • Artist and album page of Lipstick Records
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