Malachi Favors Day

August 22, 1927–January 30, 2004

Art Ensemble of Chicago

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Bassist Malachi Favors was born on August 22, 1927 in Lexington Mississippi.

While primarily known for his work in free jazz, Favors began his career by playing bebop with artists like Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie.

In the late ‘60s, Favors helped found the avant-garde jazz group Art Ensemble of Chicago. His contributions to the group, aside from his bass, include the use of auxiliary instruments like the zither and eccentric performance attire.

Favors came under the instruction and influence of bassist Wilbur Ware and made his first appearance on record at a 1953 session with tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb.

In the mid-1960s he became a founding member of the “Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians” with Muhal Richard Abrams.

Associated with hard bop and especially free jazz he added “Maghostut” to his name and would come to be known as Malachi Favors Maghostut.

Teaming up with saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell in 1966 together they cultivated a group that eventually came to be known as the “Art Ensemble Of Chicago.”

Though the upright acoustic bass was his principal instrument, Favors was also a proficient player on electric bass, zither, banjo, and gong.

While rarely recording as a leader, Favors was a staple of the avant-garde scene, especially in Chicago, for decades.

The “Art Ensemble Of Chicago” perform live in concert during the early ’80s featuring Malachi Favors.


Lester Bowie, trumpet
Roscoe Mitchell, sax & percussion
Joseph Jarman, sax & percussion
Malachi Favors Maghostut, bass & percussion
Famoudou Don Moye, drums


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