Idris Muhammad Was Super Bad

By , July 31, 2014 11:58 am


Idris lays into the traps…


Listen/Download Idris Muhammad – Express Yourself

Listen/Download Idris Muhammad – Super Bad

Listen/Download Leon Spencer – Message From the Meters

Listen/Download Lou Donaldson – Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky From Now On

Listen/Download Lonnie Smith – See Saw

Listen/Download Melvin Sparks – Thank You Pt1

Listen/Download Melvin Sparks – Thank You Pt2

Listen/Download Bob James – Nautilus

Greetings all

I logged on to the interwebs last night only to be greeted by rumors of the passing of the mighty Idris Muhammad.

It wasn’t long before the rumors were confirmed by this obituary out of his home port of New Orleans.

Idris Muhammad was born Leo Morris in New Orleans in 1939.

He was childhood friends with the Neville brothers, and one of his first gigs was playing on Fats Domino’s 1956 smash ‘Blueberry Hill’ (he also played on the seminal Crescent City track, the Hawketts ‘Mardi Gras Mambo’).

Muhammad left New Orleans in the mid-60s and headed north to make his bones as a jazz drummer.

He soon became a fixture on a seemingly endless succession of heavy New York soul jazz dates, playing alongside a wide variety of organists, guitarists and others (dig the discography in his Wikipedia entry), eventually leading his own dates for Prestige starting in 1970.

Idris has appeared here at Funky16Corners many times over the years, both as leader and sideman.

His drumming style was steeped in the New Orleans second line, and was deeply funky, both in the wayback Ninth Ward way and also in the post-James Brown get down.

I’m posting a wide variety of tracks blessed with his beats, but that mixture of Big Easy and Good Foot was never more obvious than  in  the solo in his cover of Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band’s ‘Express Yourself, the opening track’ from his 1970 debut as a leader ‘Black Rhythm Revolution’. Listening to it is hearing a very groovy bunch of uptown jazzers suddenly morphing into a high-stepping, umbrella-waving parade.

It is bad-ass.

I’m including the flipside of that 45, his cover of JB’s ‘Super Bad’ (bringing it all back around, as it were) as well as a grip of sessions from the late 60s/early 70s that feature Muhammad. It’s worth noting that two of the best tracks hail from NOLA, Lou Donaldson covering Lee Dorsey and Leon Spencer, the Meters.

The last track, Bob James’ epic – heavily sampled, see below* –  1974 track ‘Nautilus’, in which Muhammad lays out one of the smoothest/tastiest breaks ever.

Idris Muhammad went on to play with a host of jazz greats, spending may years working with Ahmad Jamal, before retiring to his home town in 2011.

He was a master of the skins, who carried the beat in his heart and soul.

He will be missed.

See you on Monday


Keep the faith




     *Songs that sample ‘Nautilus’ (from

     A Tribe Called Quest’s “Clap Your Hands”
     Alkaholiks’s “Daaam!”
     All Natural’s “Think Again”
     Basement Khemist’s “Correct Technique”
     Camp Lo’s “Black Nostaljack”
     Chubb Rock’s “Keep it Street”
     DJ Food’s “Spiral Dub”
     DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Jazzy’s Groove”
     Dream Warriors’s “Voyage Through the Multiverse”
     EPMD’s “Brothers on My Jock”
     Eric B and Rakim’s “Follow the Leader”
     Eric B and Rakim’s “Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em”
     Freestylers’s “Warning”
     Geto Boys’s “Snitches”
     Ghostface Killah’s “Daytona 500”
     Group Home’s “Inna Citi Life”
     Ice T’s “?”
     JCD and the Dawg lb’s “Over Pussy”
     Jeru’s “My Mind Spray”
     Joe Budden’s “Yo, Yo, Yo”
     Jungle Brothers’s “Book of Rhyme Pages”
     K-Solo’s “Everybody Knows Me”
     Keith Murray’s “The Rhyme”
     King Sun’s “Big Shots”
     Kruder & Dorfmeister’s “Original Bedroom Rockers”
     Large Professor ft Pete Rock’s “The Rap World”
     Leaders of the New School’s “Show Me a Hero”
     Lord Shafiyq’s “My Mic is on Fire”
     Lyrical Prophecy’s “You Can’t Swing This”
     Main Source’s “Live at the Barbecue”
     Mary J. Blige’s “Just Mary”
     Mary J. Blige ft Nas & DMX’s “Sincerity”
     Mekon’s “Phatty’s Lunch Box”
     Mike Zoot’s “Scene”
     Naughty by Nature’s “Cruddy Clique”
     Nice & Smooth’s “No Delayin’”
     Onyx’s “Black Vagina Finda”
     Onyx’s “Throw Ya Gunz”
     Organized Konfusion’s “Stray Bullet”
     Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “Take You There”
     Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “The Sun Won’t Come Out”
     Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “What’s Next on the Menu?”
     Poison Clan’s “Paper Chase”
     Poor Righteous Teachers’s “Word is Bond”
     Project M’s “The Place to Be”
     Public Enemy’s “Anti-N*gger Machine”
     Puff Daddy ft Busta Rhymes and Notorious BIG’s “Victory”
     Queen Mother Rage’s “Slippin’ into Darkness”
     Red Myers’s “Shoplifter”
     Run-DMC’s “Beats to the Rhyme”
     Run-DMC’s “Groove to the Sound”
     Salt-N-Pepa’s “Doper than Dope”
     Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story”
     Soul II Soul’s “Jazzie’s Groove”
     Tame One’s “Torture Chamber”
     The Roots ft Mos Def’s “Double Trouble”
     Threat’s “Bust One Fa Me”
     Tim Dog’s “Bronx Nigga”
     Tim Dog’s “I’ll Wax Anybody”
     Tim Dog’s “Low Down Nigg*”
     Ultramagnetic MCs’s “Ced Gee (Delta Force One)”
     Ultramagnetic MCs’s “Moe Love on the One & Two”
     Ultramagnetic MCs’s “Raise it Up”



Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived! The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock. They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US). Click here to go to the ordering page.

Also, make sure that you check out the links below to the Be The Match Foundation and POAC (click on the logos for more info).


Example Example

PS Head over to Iron Leg too.

One Response to “Idris Muhammad Was Super Bad”

  1. Alex says:

    I saw that he died today, and I got Turn This Mutha out, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

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