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Baker's Dozen

Thirteen Prayers: Kamasi Washington's Favourite Albums
Paul Smith , May 18th, 2016 11:43

Before he embarks on a summer of touring following his excellent 2015 album The Epic, the saxophonist and bandleader makes some difficult decisions to give Paul Smith 13 albums that affected his musical approach


Eric Dolphy ‎– Out To Lunch!
I studied drums, piano and clarinet. While I was playing clarinet, I developed a personal relationship with jazz. I was really into Wayne Shorter and I wanted to play sax and my dad wouldn't let me because he wanted me to get better on the clarinet first. But one day I picked up the sax and worked out how to play this Wayne Shorter song called 'Sleeping Dancer Sleep On'. It had this kind of lullaby feel to it. I said I wanted to be a sax player and play jazz. My dad said: "Really? Let's see."

He took me to his friend Calvin's house and played me some Eric Dolphy. I loved it straight from the jump and everyone was shocked. I feel that it really impressed my dad and showed him where I was at musically.

Eric Dolphy is one of most underrated sax players. I feel like the modern approach to sax is so influenced by him but people don't really talk about it. The way that saxophone players really fly and come down, and in the whole approach of people like Kenny Garrett, you can always hear Dolphy.

When I first got into jazz, I was totally raiding my dad's record collection all the time. And even now, when I think I've heard it all, with Eric Dolphy he can still pull one past me.