Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Bassist, composer, Philadelphia USA 1956.


Since his emergence with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time in the mid-’70s, Jamaaladeen Tacuma has been one of the top electric bassists in a style of music that could be called “free funk.” Growing up in Philadelphia, Tacuma (who before he converted to Islam was known as Rudy McDaniel) played with Charles Earland. Only 19 when he joined Coleman in 1975, his ability to combine together funky rhythms with free jazz helped give Prime Time its distinctive sound. Tacuma’s own solo career has been wide ranging. He’s played with a variety of advanced musicians (including James “Blood” Ulmer, Olu Dara, Julius Hemphill, and David Murray). In 2007 he teamed with drummer Grant Calvin Weston and guitarist Vernon Reid in the power trio Free Form Funky Freqs. The band’s debut album, Urban Mythology: Volume One was released in February of 2008.