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Baker's Dozen

Learning Through Listening: Shabaka Hutchings Favourite LPs
Olamiju Fajemisin , March 28th, 2018 09:07

In anticipation of the release of Sons of Kemet's latest LP, Your Queen Is A Reptile and their appearance at this year's Field Day Festival, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings detailed the thirteen albums that shaped his experiences as both a man and a musician to Olamiju Fajemisin


Steve Williamson – Journey To The Truth
I was obsessed with Steve Williamson for a long time in my life. If I were to name my musical heroes, Steve Williamson would be one of them. He's a revered figure for me. For me, this album is the shape of jazz to come. There's a track on here with Black Thought from The Roots on saxophone - it's one of the first time I've actually heard that, that being hip-hop and jazz meeting at a time where it wasn't jazz being a backing track for hip-hop, or hip-hop being a backing track for jazz, rather a fair amalgamation of both genres. Steve's phrasing is strange when you first hear it, it's initially quite rough. When I first listened to this album, how he's playing the saxophone sounded unusual to me until realised that he's taking inspiration from hip-hop, I say hip-hop, but in reality it's lyricists who are influencing him. He's drawing on the way individuals say words and the power with which they say them, rather than simply learning how to play the saxophone and then doing exactly that. I can hear him articulating statements on the saxophone in the way that someone would verbalise rhythm. This album is really one of my favourites. Granted, there are some elements that I don't like towards the end, but the elements that I do like are so great that I would say that it's at the top of my list.