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Muhal Richard Abrams, An Artist Always Looking Forward, Leaves Us Behind

Muhal Richard Abrams

The pianist, composer, and teacher Muhal Richard Abrams, a visionary artist with no patience for compromise or excuses, leaves the jazz community in mourning.

Abrams passed away on Oct. 29 at his home in New York City, at the age of 87.  He also left behind a staggering legacy of work that his contemporaries must contend with for decades to come. Besides being a trailblazing artists, he was also the founder of one of the most influential African-American music collectives of all time, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The Checkout was fortunate enough to speak with Abrams twice. This podcast compiles excerpts from those conversations: once in 2010, after he became a NEA Jazz Master, and again in 2015, when the AACM celebrated its 50th anniversary in Chicago.

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For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.