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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


Joseph Jarman - Song For
One of my favourite songs on it is called ‘Little Fox Run’. It’s a composition by a musician who was one of the most influential in my life - Fred Anderson. When that recording was made, I was a kid and I didn’t know anything about it, but it was done at a time when my family and Fred’s were actually living together in Evanston, Illinois. My family rented two rooms in the house where Fred’s family were living. Fred was born in Monroe, Louisiana. I was too, but he was born there many years before me. My mother was really good friends with Fred’s mother and my father and Fred Anderson were also very close. Fred would come home every day from work and he would go down in the basement and practice for a couple of hours. This recording was done during that particular time period, when I was very young, but I didn’t know about it until much later in life. We used to play ‘Little Fox Run’, in a group that I was in with Fred, George Lewis, Douglas Hewitt, and Felix Black. We were playing the song before I heard the recorded version, and then when I finally heard it, it was so different to how I was playing it. That whole record I think was different because I got to hear improvised music in its fullest form that related to me at the time. Also, it was coming from a guy who had a big influence on me in my musical life and also my growing up in life. Joseph Jarman had a profound impact on me in many ways, just being able to express your own voice in the music, and I also liked his theatrical approach to music and also mixing the poetic and musical forms together - reading poetry and playing music. So, I think from a sentimental point of view, this was a very important record for me.