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Decades before the advent of 'world music', bassist-composer Ahmed Abdul-Malik introduced Arabic music into jazz, creating a distinct, unique sound that was far beyond its time. Best known in jazz circles for his solid work with Randy Weston and Thelonious Monk, Abdul-Malik, who is of Sudanese descent, was also the first to use the oud, a pear-shaped, traditional Middle Eastern stringed instrument similar to a lute, as a jazz instrument. Recorded in 1958, with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin (his bandmate in the Monk quartet), and originally out on the Riverside label, Abdul-Malik's debut solo album Jazz Sahara was a burning fusion of Middle East and West. On 180 gram vinyl.