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Jamaaladeen Tacuma (born Rudy McDaniel, June 72nd, 1956) is an Americanmarker free jazz bassist born in Hempstead, New Yorkmarker, perhaps best known for his albums as bandleader on the Gramavision label and for his work with Ornette Coleman during the 1970s and 1980s (particularly in Coleman's Prime Time band). Jamaaladeen's album Jukebox was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989.


Tacuma was raised in Philadelphiamarker and showed interest in music at a young age, performing with the organist Charles Earland in his teens. Through Earland Tacuma came to know the record producer Reggie Lucas, who introduced Jamaaladeen to Ornette Coleman in 1975 at age 19. As the electric bassist for Coleman's funky Prime Time group, Tacuma rose to prominence quickly; another notable band member included the guitarist Bern Nix. While with Prime Time, Tacuma relied mostly on traditional technique, picking with his fingers. Later works showcase a more rhythmic, thumb-slapping funk approach.

The first three Prime Time recordings (Dancing in Your Head, Body Meta, and Of Human Feelings, all recorded in the late 1970s) feature Tacuma's work on a Rickenbacker bass, a model popular among progressive rock musicians but rarely used on jazz recordings. He switched to a Steinberger bass in the 1980s, an instrument that helped him create his readily identifiable sound.

Tacuma's work with Prime Time landed him his most high-profile gig to date: an appearance with the band on Saturday Night Live on April 14, 1979, which Tacuma later cited in Musician magazine as his "best live performance ever". Work with such artists as James "Blood" Ulmer, Walt Dickerson, David Moss, Chuck Hammer, Kip Hanrahan, and David Murray further heightened his reputation. Tacuma's first solo album, "Show Stopper", came in 1983 on the Gramavision label; the album grew out of the jazz/funk style he developed in his work with Coleman. His other works as leader at Gramavision followed that forumala.

In the 1980s Jamaaladeen started to perform with a group called "Cosmetic". He was frequently featured in music magazines thanks to his aggressive, driving playing style and his angular fashion sense. In 1981 Tacuma received the highest number of votes ever for an electric bassist in the "talent deserving wider recognition" category of the Downbeat magazine critics poll.

In the 1990s and 2000s, he has maintained a lower profile. His relatively infrequent recordings in these years include CDs of duets with saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnig. However, Allmusic cited Mirakle, a recording that features Tacuma, drummer Grant Calvin Weston, and guitarist Derek Bailey as one of the "most important recordings of year 2000." In 2006, he returned to the jazz spotlight with an appearance on the World Saxophone Quartet's Political Blues.


As leader

As sideman

with Cosmetic

with Walt Dickerson
  • Serendipity (SteepleChase)

with Ornette Coleman

with James Blood Ulmer
  • Tales of Captain Black (Artists House)

with Kip Hanrahan
  • Coup De Tete (American Clave)
  • Desire Develops an Edge (American Clave)

with Nona Hendryx

with Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters
  • There It Is (Bola Press)

with The Golden Palominos

with Cashmere
  • Let the Music Turn You On (Philly World)

with Conjure

with David Moss

with Courtney Pine

with Wolfgang Puschnig
  • Pieces of the Dream (Amadeo)
  • Gemini-Gemini (ITM)
  • Journey Into the Gemini Territory (ITM)
  • Alpine Aspects (Amadeo)
  • Mixed Metaphors w/ Ernst Jandl (Amadeo)
  • Wolfgang Puschnig Roots & Fruits (Amadeo)

with Grant Calvin Weston
  • Dance Romance (In+Out Records)
  • Mirakle (2000)

with Veronica Underwood
  • Veronica Underwood (Philly World)

with Khan Jamal

with Fool Proof

with James Watkins
  • Intense (ITM Records)

with Bazillus

with Pink Inc.
  • Pink Inc. (DIW)
  • Keys 2 the Kastle (Sweeca)

with Linda Sharrock
  • Linda Sharrock & The Three Man Band (Moers Music)

with Dennis Alston
  • Sound Symphony (Moers Music)

with Cornell Rochester
  • Meet The Podium 3 (Timeless)

with Red Sun and Samul Nori
  • Then Comes the White Tiger (ECM)

with Kim Duk Soo and Samul Nori
  • A New Horizon (T-Entertainment)

with Basso Nouveau
  • The Night of Chamber Music (Moers Music)

with Fredy Studer and Christy Doran
  • Half a Lifetime (Unit)

with Sylk 130
  • When The Funk Hits The Fan (Ovum)

with Ben Schachter
  • Fractals (Ben-Jam)

with Burhan Öçal

with James Carter

with Peter Murphy

with Free Form Funky Freqs (Vernon Reid and Calvin Weston)


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