Best known as the bassist for the acclaimed avant-garde ensemble the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Malachi Favors kept a fairly low profile, though he was an essential element of the group's artistic success. He seldom soloed, though he did occasionally write for the band. Favors contributed vocal effects and plays, in addition to bass, a range of auxiliary instruments such as zither, banjo, and harmonica. It was Favors who first suggested the band wear African face paint and clothing (a practice taken up by Favors, saxophonist Joseph Jarman, and drummer Don Moye). Most importantly, Favors was a solid team player -- hard-swinging and possessing a large, rubbery bass sound in addition to a well-developed sense of his place in the ensemble.