Shib Shihab

Sahib Shihab (born Edmund Gregory; June 23, 1925 – October 24, 1989) was an American jazz and hard bop saxophonist (baritone, alto, and soprano) and flautist. He variously worked with Luther Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Fletcher Henderson, Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, John Coltrane and Quincy Jones among others.

He was born in Savannah, Georgia, United States. Edmund Gregory first played alto saxophone professionally for Luther Henderson aged 13, and studied at the Boston Conservatory, and to perform with trumpeter Roy Eldridge. He played lead alto with Fletcher Henderson in the mid-1940s.

He was one of the first jazz musicians to convert to Islam and changed his name in 1947. During the late 1940s, Shihab played with Thelonious Monk, and on July 23, 1951 he recorded with Monk (later issued on the album Genius of Modern Music: Volume 2). During this period, he also appeared on recordings by Art Blakey, Kenny Dorham and Benny Golson. The invitation to play with Dizzy Gillespie‘s big band in the early 1950s was of particular significance, as it marked Shihab’s switch to baritone.

Share this post

Leave a Comment