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Baker's Dozen

Darkness And Relief: Sean Lennon's 13 Favourite Albums
Patrick Clarke , July 19th, 2017 11:03

From Herbie Hancock's darkest depths to Brian Eno's anxiety-relieving light, Sean Lennon guides Patrick Clarke through thirteen records that changed his life


Zakir Hussain - Magical Moments of Rhythm
This is a compilation of Zakir playing different concerts, and it blew my mind when I was 16. Its one of the albums I've listened to 1000 times. It's bizarre that that would be something I'd listen to so many times, because it's so sparse - there's only the tabla and occasionally one other instrument, but never more than two at any one time.

I once got to see him play with John McLaughlin, they really opened up my whole understanding of rhythm. I felt like my brain was getting bigger, it felt like I was learning about music. It's probably the most sophisticated rhythm I've heard from any country at any time, but it's not show-offy and designed to impress you technically. It has so much soul, it's such passionate music. Some people can't stand listening to it, but it's one of those albums that I could be in a terrible state but still happy to hear it. It relaxes me. That album really opened me up to listening to Ali Farka Touré, Indian classical musicians and so much more.

tQ: What do you make of your father's forays into Indian music with The Beatles?

Some of my favourite Beatles songs are the ones that are Indian influenced, like 'Blue Jay Way', the George Harrison stuff, although their tabla player was more British-Indian so he was more of a 'pop tabla' player. Zakir Hussein is the real deal. I've never read up on whether McLaughlin was interested in music by the Beatles…

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