Malachi Favors

Malachi Favors (August 22, 1927[1] – January 30, 2004)[2] was an American jazz bassist who played with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Malachi Favors
Malachi Favors.jpg
Background information
Born(1927-08-22)August 22, 1927
Lexington, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedJanuary 30, 2004(2004-01-30) (aged 76)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
InstrumentsDouble bass
Years active1950–2000
Associated actsArt Ensemble of Chicago


"Favors's tendency to dissemble about his age was a well-known source of mirth to fellow musicians of his generation".[3] Most reference works give his year of birth of 1937, but, following his death, his daughter stated that it was 1927.[4]

Favors primarily played the double bass, but also played the electric bass guitar, banjo, zither, gong, and other instruments.[5] He began playing double bass at the age of 15 and began performing professionally upon graduating from high school.[1] Early performances included work with Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard.[1] By 1965, he was a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a member of Muhal Richard Abrams' Experimental Band.[5]

At some point he added the word "Maghostut" to his name and because of this he is commonly listed as "Malachi Favors Maghostut".[5] Musically he is most associated with bebop, hard bop, and particularly free jazz.[6]

Favors was a protégé of Chicago bassist Wilbur Ware. His first known recording was a 1953 session with tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb. He made an LP with Chicago pianist Andrew Hill (1957). Favors began working with Roscoe Mitchell in 1966; this group eventually became the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Favors also worked outside the group, with artists including Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, and Dewey Redman.[1]

Prominent records include Natural & Spiritual (solo bass, 1978)[1] and Sightsong (duets with Muhal Richard Abrams, 1975).[1] In 1994 he played with Roman Bunka (Oud) at Berlin Jazz Fest and recorded the 'German Critics Poll Winner' album, Color Me Cairo.

Favors died from pancreatic cancer in January 2004, at the age of 76.[1]


  • Natural & Spiritual AECO, 1978)

With Art Ensemble of Chicago

Title Year Label
Sound – Roscoe Mitchell Sextet 1966 Delmark
Old/Quartet – Roscoe Mitchell 1967 Nessa
Numbers 1 & 2 – Lester Bowie 1967 Nessa
Early Combinations – Art Ensemble 1967 Nessa
Congliptious – Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble 1968 Nessa
A Jackson in Your House 1969 Actuel
Tutankhamun 1969 Freedom
The Spiritual 1969 Freedom
People in Sorrow 1969 Pathé-Marconi
Message to Our Folks 1969 Actuel
Reese and the Smooth Ones 1969 Actuel
Eda Wobu 1969 JMY
Certain Blacks 1970 America
Go Home 1970 Galloway
Chi-Congo 1970 Paula
Les Stances a Sophie 1970 Pathé-Marconi
Live in Paris 1970 Freedom
Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass 1970 America
Phase One 1971 America
Live at Mandell Hall 1972 Delmark
Bap-Tizum 1972 Atlantic
Fanfare for the Warriors 1973 Atlantic
Kabalaba 1974 AECO
Nice Guys 1978 ECM
Live in Berlin 1979 West Wind
Full Force 1980 ECM
Urban Bushmen 1980 ECM
Among the People 1980 Praxis
The Complete Live in Japan 1984 DIW
The Third Decade 1984 ECM
Naked 1986 DIW
Ancient to the Future 1987 DIW
The Alternate Express 1989 DIW
Art Ensemble of Soweto 1990 DIW
America – South Africa 1990 DIW
Thelonious Sphere Monk with Cecil Taylor 1990 DIW
Dreaming of the Masters Suite 1990 DIW
Live at the 6th Tokyo Music Joy with Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy 1991 DIW
Fundamental Destiny with Don Pullen 1991 AECO
Salutes the Chicago Blues Tradition 1993 AECO
Coming Home Jamaica 1996 Atlantic
Urban Magic 1997 AECO
Tribute to Lester 2001 ECM
Reunion 2003 Around Jazz
The Meeting 2003 Pi
Sirius Calling 2004 Pi

As sidemanEdit

With Ahmed Abdullah

With Fred Anderson

With Tatsu Aoki

  • 2 x 4 (Southport, 1999)

With Charles Brackeen

With Bright Moments: Joseph Jarman, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Kahil El'Zabar and Adegoke Steve Colson

With Roman Bunka

  • Color Me Cairo (Enja, 1995)

With Kahil El'Zabar

With Dennis González

With Andrew Hill

With Maurice McIntyre

With Roscoe Mitchell

With Dewey Redman

With Archie Shepp

With Alan Silva

With Wadada Leo Smith


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Malachi Favors | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Malachi Favors". The Guardian. 11 February 2004. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  3. ^ Lewis, George E. (2008). A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. University of Chicago Press. p. 488.
  4. ^ Carlson, Russell (February 4, 2002). "Malachi Favors Dies". JazzTimes. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 143/4. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  6. ^ "Malachi Favors". Retrieved July 27, 2021.

External linksEdit