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AmoChip Dabney could retire tomorrow with a résumé most musicians would kill for. As a session player on saxophones, keyboards and bass, he's appeared on scores of recordings, and he's picked up two Grammy nominations for his work with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet. He's toured with O.J. Ekemode and the Nigerian All Stars and the Sun Ra Arkestra. Locally, he performs with the Les Baxter Factor and the 17th Street Band.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

It was Lionel Hampton at the Terrace Ballroom in Newark, N.J., in 1966. I was impressed that my mother took my brother and me to see him.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

Mostly projects I'm working on. One is called lithoacoustics--hitting rocks with antler bones--the most primitive music that's probably ever occurred. And then there's People of Peace, the record I produced with Carlos (Nakai) and the Quartet.

How many total albums do you own(CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

There's about 200 commercial CDs and one LP.

Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?

I don't download music.

What was the first album you owned?

Bill Cosby's Why Is There Air?

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

I'd like "Edge of the Century," a duet I recorded with Carlos. But like Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, it's a little deep, so nobody wants to hear it.

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

Yes' Close to the Edge and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Two perfect records.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

I'd say Sun Ra. They were virtuosos at every station, incorporated art with music, would improvise in the middle of anywhere, and then on cue could jump back to a specific chart on the arrangement. They embraced me when I joined.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Weather Report. I'd already been through Miles Davis, Hendrix and the Beatles. But when I first heard that album, I was finally old enough to process what was going on.

More by Jim Lipson

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