What's All The Hype?
“Dancing, racing, and singing with clarity unequaled in the realm of bass guitar.” DOWNBEAT
“Jamaaladeen is the master of the sequence.” ORNETTE COLEMAN
“Tacuma has developed an instrumental conception for the bass that could well be the sound of the future, if today's musicians are brave enough to confront it.” THE RECORD
“JAMAALADEEN TACUMA BREAKING BASS BARRIERS. . . He is coming to be regarded as one of the most distinctive forces on bass guitar to emerge in the past decade.” GUITAR PLAYER
“Mr. Tacuma seems equally capable of attaining that greater sophistication and intelligence without sacrificing his earthy roots - just as Mr. Coleman has done.” NEW YORK TIMES
“The baddest electric bassist virtuoso in years.” MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
“Tacuma has always been ahead of the average hipness curve.” BASS PLAYER
“Sporting an outrageous lime green shirt and vintage 40's slacks at a gig in Germany in August, Tacuma plugged in his bass with a hilarious-looking white phone cord, then generated a slam-dancing funk that could have shaken the NATO alliance. THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
“Jamaaladeen Tacuma's “Dreamscape,” an import on DIW Records, rocks the house with incredible bass and lead guitar sounds and heavy rhythmic grooves to satisfy the funk- and -jazz jones that resides in your soul.” BILLBOARD
“It’s the rarest of musicians who fulfill their potential while remaining in their hometowns. But Jamaaladeen Tacuma is an exemplar for how to turn what could be a liability — rootedness — into success. How he’s done it: First, there’s the world class musicianship of a bassist who at age 19 joined Ornette Coleman’s challenging, electrically charged groups and stayed with them for 11 years…” - By John Szwed
Black Music City Project announces grant winners to honor Philly’s black music history
The money will go toward 23 new artistic works that honor the Black music tradition in Philadelphia. They'll be unveiled in June as part of Black Music Month.
Jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, classical singer CrisTené Triplet, visual artist Kyra Williams, and singer/bandleader Zeek Burse are among 23 Black Music City Project grant winners, announced Wednesday, who will receive between $1,000 and $3,500 to create new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s Black music history…(Read More)
The Philadelphia Inquirer by Dan DeLuca
Published Mar 17, 2021
A Word with Award-Winning Jazz Bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma
Philadelphia's Jamaaladeen Tacuma has been pushing the boundaries of the electric bass for over four decades, and always commands attention with his unique sound and style. His mastery of the instrument and commitment to the jazz community has inspired the City of Philadelphia to present him with this year’s Benny Golson Award, named for the great sax player..... (Read More)
WRTI By MERIDEE DUDDLESTON • APR 4, 2018
Why a Philly jazz great was crying in the Mayor's Reception Room
by Shaun Brady, For the Inquirer
The low bass rumble you may have heard emanating from City Hall on Thursday was the unmistakable Jamaaladeen Tacuma, who opted to accept this year’s Benny Golson Award by treating the attendees in the Mayor’s Reception Room to an impromptu solo performance. Wielding a white electric bass that matched his typically attention-grabbing ensemble, Tacuma laid down a free-ranging funk groove that had even Mayor Kenney clapping along.... (Read More)
The final show of electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s fourth annual Outsiders Improvised and Creative Music Festival reveled in the roots and revolution of Ornette Coleman’s “harmolodics,” a radical retake on the interplay of harmony, motion and melody..... Read More
Listen to Dan Buskriks WPRB Interview
Bio and Press Materials
Few musicians leave their audiences with a feeling that they have truly witnessed something amazing. Artist/Producer/Performer/Arranger/Innovator AND Bassist - JAMAALADEEN TACUMA does just that. This native Philadelphian has always stretched the old mold of what and how a bassist is supposed to play. Tacuma has simply re-defined his instrument's artistic potential.In the mid 70's, his creatively free approach to the bass caught the eye and ear of the legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Tacuma became a member of Coleman's electric band, Prime Time, he toured with the group and played on some of Coleman's historic recordings such as: "Dancing In Your Head", "Body Meta", and "Of Human Feelings". As a soloist, Tacuma continued to press the musical envelope with his debut album in 1983 entitled simply, "Showstopper". Several records followed, some of which include: Renaissance Man (1984), Music World (1987) and JukeBox (1989), Cosmetic, Boss of The Bass, which confirmed his ability to flip between various musical genres. Even the critics have had high praise for Tacuma's musicianship and artistry. One year he received the highest number of votes ever for an electric bassist in the "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" category of the Down Beat critics' poll.
Tacuma has performed and recorded and collaborated with musicians on nearly every continent such as Japan, Korea, Europe and the Middle East. In September 2007, Jamaaladeen released a new recording entitled "THE FLAVORS OF THELONIOUS MONK RELOADED" paying musical homage to the great pianist composer Thelonious Monk and also releasing a new recording in October 2007 with "FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS" a trio with guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Color),and G. Calvin Weston (John Laurie, Medeski, Martin & Wood) on drums entitled "URBAN MYTHOLOGY" on Thirsty Ear Records. He has also played and produced for many American and European Jazz/Funk musicians. Furthermore, the release "Mirakles" by Derrick Bailey, G. Calvin Weston & Tacuma was cited as one of the "most important recordings of year 2000" by All Music Guide. He also recently completed a recording entitled "DUST" with BAUHAUS member Peter Murphy on the Metropolis label. He is also featured as writer and co-producer on the new 2006 release of the World Saxophone Quartet's album on Justin Time Records entitled "Political Blues" with a song by Jamaaladeen entitled "BLUE DIAMOND" Tacuma has collaborated with a diverse and talented roster of artists: Guitarists Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Marc Ribot, James Blood Ulmer, Jean Paul Bourelly and Derek Bailey.
He has performed and recorded with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr., David Murray, Odean Pope ,Wolfgang Puschnig and James Carter. He has worked with orchestras led by Anthony Davis at Carnegie Hall, to recording and performing with the Hip Hop rap group, The Roots, DJ King Britt and DJ Logic. Tacuma has shared the stage with the great comedian and philanthropist Bill Cosby at the JVC Jazz Festival, on the David Letterman show where Tacuma was Band Director for the night. He has even written music for the hit TV show, "The Cosby Show". He has worked with poets Jayne Cortez, Quincy Troupe, Amiri Baraka and co-wrote and co-produced a song entitled "WOMEN FIRST" with the R&B Neo Soul group from Philadelphia, KINDRED (the family soul) on their new CD recording "IN THIS LIFE TOGETHER", on the Hidden Beach/Motown label (2006). Jamaaladeen has recently explored the music of legendary saxophonist, composer John Coltrane with a preview recording and an extended European tour which featured the British saxophonist and BBC award recipient Tony Kofi. Jamaaladeen's FOR THE LOVE OR ORNETTE released 2010 on his own label was a monumental recording made in honor of his mentor Ornette Coleman. In 2013 Jamaaladeen released Bon Vivant his 2nd studio recording with FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS trio with G. Calvin Weston and Guitarist Vernon Reid on his newly formed recording label Jam All Productions.
In recent years Jamaaladeen has been gaining recognition from some of the Unites States most prestigious artist foundations, 2011 Jamaaladeen received the Pew Arts & Heritage Award, The Marcus Garvey Foundation Award, Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Award 2014. Jamaaladeen has received composer’s residencies at the prestigious MacDowell Colony , Headlands Center for the Arts, and Civitella Rainier Italy, where he composed a new project he will be presenting in 2015. Staying true to his artistic and experimental approach to music, Tacuma is consistently bringing musical happiness to fans World Wide.