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Baker's Dozen

Delving Into Consciousness: Hamid Drake's Favourite Music
Sean Kitching , September 4th, 2019 09:47

Percussionist Hamid Drake guides Sean Kitching through 13 favourite albums of cosmic enlightenment courtesy of Alice and John Coltrane, Don Cherry, Ravi Shankar, Jimi Hendrix and much more. Photo by Ludmilla Faccenda


Ravi Shankar - Live at the Monterey International Pop Festival
This was the first recording of Indian music that I ever heard. It features the great master of the tabla, Ustad Allarakha Qureshi. He’s the father of the present day great tabla player Zakir Hussain. When I heard that record, I said right then: ‘I want to learn how to play that instrument, the tabla’. It was years later, I was in Frank’s Drum Shop in Chicago and I saw on the bulletin board, there was a piece of paper that said: ‘Anyone who wants to learn how to play the Indian tabla, call this number, my name is Paul Raman.’ I wrote it down and a couple of weeks later I called him. He said, ‘meet me next week, we can meet and discuss it’. I got there a little early and the guy who was manning the store, we talked for a while. Then Paul showed up and we went to a backroom. He demonstrated the tablas for me. I bought a pair of tablas from the shop and I would come every week, take a lesson with him. About five months later, he said, I see that you’re serious about this, I would like you to come to my home and study. I studied with him for quite a few years, and became very close to his family. It all came from listening to that Ravi Shankar record.