Artist Profiles: Adam Rudolph

Adam Rudolph
Adam Rudolph

Adam Rudolph, a native of Chicago, is known as one of the early innovators in what is now called world music. In 1977 he co-founded The Mandingo Griot Society with Gambian musician Foday Musa Suso, one of the first bands to combine African and American music. In 1988, he recorded the first fusion of American and Gnawa music with Moroccan sintir player and vocalist Hassan Hakmoun and jazz trumpet great Don Cherry. In the same year. Rudolph began his association with the legendary Yusef Lateef, which continued until Lateef’s passing in 2013 to this day.

In April of 2002, when Omar Sosa and his Septet arrived in Los Angeles for a run at the Jazz Bakery, it was possible for Rudolph and Sosa, two kindred spirits, to meet and make music together. The result was Pictures of Soul, a journey into the transcendent realms of the creative music process.

Pictures of Soul is an improvised music collaboration between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Rudolph, based in Los Angeles These two creative musicians had enjoyed each other’s work at a distance for several years. Both share an appreciation of ritual trance music.

Sosa and Rudolph both experience their art as an interactive spiritual voyage. Their approach in the studio called simply for an openness to explore musical landscapes together – without charts, without rehearsal. In Pictures of Soul Sosa plays mostly acoustic piano, both on the keys and inside the instrument. Rudolph is featured on an array of hand drums, including jembe, tarija, dumbek and tabla.

Rudolph leads his own ensemble, Go: Organic Orchestra, an orchestral concept of world/improvisational music.

Discography

Gift of Gnawa (Flying Fish, 1991)
Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures (Flying Fish, 1992)
Skyway (Soul Note, 1994)
12 Arrows (Meta, 1999)
Contemplations (Meta, 1999)
Web of Light (Meta, 2003)
Dream Garden (Justin Time Records, 2008)
Turning Towards the Light (Cuneiform, 2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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