Indeed, she is a vital member of this group, which has worked hard to keep alive the flame of the city's rich tradition. She has worked regularly with Kenny Cox, Marion Hayden, Donald Walden, Teddy Harris, Marcus Belgrave, and others, as well as with ex-Detroiters Yusef Lateef and Geri Allen. In 1986 pianist Allen recorded an album with many of her Detroit friends, including Nurullah. The reception to Open on All Sides in the Middle was somewhat mixed, but when a small version of the same band toured Europe, they were warmly greeted. Because alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, who was present on the recording, could not come along, Nurullah also vocalized Coleman's parts, to much acclaim.
Shahida Nurullah teams up with pianist Tad Weed at the Kerrytown Concert House Saturday, May 4, for an evening of jazz interpretations of movie songs. You can expect to hear perennial favorites like "Laura" or "Little Boy Lost." But I'll be waiting for that great Muppet tune.
[Originally published in May, 2002.]