The architect of jazz in Azerbaijan. He first fused jazz with mugham or traditional Azerbaijani folk music.
He had to be careful playing jazz because it was banned under the Soviet regime. His fame came while he was a student at the Baku State Musical School and later at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire.
His music went international and everyone from Willis Connover to B.B. King jammed with him.
His mother taught piano at a local school and was very influential in his musical development.
He fathered future jazz artist Aziza Mustafa Zadeh with his second wife, Eliza.