The Leaders
The Leaders is a jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

Supergroup (music)
In the late 1960s, the term supergroup was coined to describe "a rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups"....

 formed in 1985.

The initial lineup of The Leaders was put together by trumpeter Lester Bowie
Lester Bowie
Lester Bowie was an American jazz trumpet player and composer. He was a member of the AACM, and cofounded the Art Ensemble of Chicago.-Biography:...

, alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe
Arthur Blythe
Arthur Blythe is an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer. His stylistic voice has a distinct vibrato and he plays within the post-bop subgenre of jazz.- Biography :...

, and tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman
Chico Freeman
Chico Freeman is a modern jazz tenor saxophonist and trumpeter and son of jazz saxophonist Von Freeman...

, along with a rhythm section of pianist Kirk Lightsey
Kirk Lightsey
Kirkland "Kirk" Lightsey is an American jazz pianist.Lightsey had piano instruction from age five and studied piano and clarinet through high school. After service in the Army, Lightsey worked in Detroit and California in the 1960s as an accompanist to singers...

, bassist Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee is an American post bop jazz bassist, described by the Guinness Who's Who of Jazz as "a full-toned bassist who creates rich, singing phrases in a wide range of contemporary jazz contexts." Allmusic called him "One of post-bop's most advanced and versatile bassists".-Biography:McBee...

, and drummer Famoudou Don Moye. The Leaders released three albums in the late 1980s. The rhythm players also recorded one album on their own as The Leaders Trio (Heaven Dance, 1988).

In 2007, a reconstituted Leaders consisting of Freeman and McBee alongside Eddie Henderson
Eddie Henderson (musician)
Eddie Henderson is an American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player. Henderson's influences include Booker Little, Clifford Brown, Woody Shaw and Miles Davis.-Family influence and early music history:...

 on trumpet, Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson is an American post-bop jazz alto saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator. Watson now has 26 recordings as a leader. He appears on nearly 100 other recordings as either co-leader or in a supporting role...

 on bass, Fred Harris
Fred Harris
Frederic Walter Harris was a British politician and businessman. He was Conservative Member of Parliament in Croydon between 1948 and 1970....

 on piano, and Billy Hart
Billy Hart
William "Billy" Hart is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.-Biography:Early on Hart performed in Washington, D.C...

 on drums released the album Spirits Alike.


  • 1986: Mudfoot
    Mudfoot is the debut album by the all-star jazz group The Leaders released on the Black Hawk label in 1986. The album features performances by Lester Bowie, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Cecil McBee, Kirk Lightsey and Don Moye....

    (Black Hawk Records)
  • 1987: Out Here Like This
    Out Here Like This
    -Track listing:# "Zero" - 7:53# "Luna" - 6:33# "Cool T." - 5:13# "Donkey Dust" - 7:06# "Portraits" - 7:58# "Felicite" - 5:59# "Loves I Once Knew" - 5:53-Personnel:*Lester Bowie – trumpet...

    (Black Saint Records)
  • 1988: Unforeseen Blessings
    Unforeseen Blessings
    -Track listing:# "In a Minute" - 2:51# "Hip Dripper" - 3:35# "Sun Precondition Five" - 0:38# "The Search" - 2:48# "Lightish" - 1:22# "Sun Precondition Six" - 0:18# "Peacemaker" - 6:34...

    (Black Saint)
  • 1988: Heaven Dance (Sunnyside Records
    Sunnyside Records
    Sunnyside Records is an American jazz record label.Sunnyside was founded in 1982 by Francois Zalacain and Christine Berthet. Its early releases consisted primarily of piano solo material and ensembles without drums, but in later years has broadened its selection of material.-Artists who have...

  • 2007: Spirits Alike (Double Moon)
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