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Baker's Dozen

Ancient Rhythms, Global Rhythms: Pete Wareham's Favourite Records
Adam Quarshie , April 1st, 2020 09:28

Via his ensemble Melt Yourself Down, saxophonist Pete Wareham reimagines the rhythms and melodies of Nubia. Adam Quarshie caught up with him to discuss some of his influences, from the music of Egypt and Sudan to the music of East London.


John Coltrane - Out Of This World
There's so much of his stuff I could have chosen. The reason I chose this one is, this was the first time I heard this band. I remember sitting in the car with my friend and saying "my mate's given me this tape, let's check it out". And I put it on and we both just looked at each other and went, "Oh my God!". I'll never forget it. It was a day like today, really sunny, and this giant doorway that you didn't know was there opened up, introducing you to this whole new world. It still feels like that now. He's another one where the colours never fade.

The thing about the two as well, Coltrane and Miles Davis, is that they both represent two parts of myself. I always think of Coltrane as being outdoors music. Organic, countryside music. Elvin Jones [drummer in John Coltrane quartet], just sounds like waves crashing against the shore, the wind blowing in the trees. The music feels like this stormy day and then Miles Davis feels really urban, like city lights.

When I was discovering this whole Coltrane thing, there were quite a few years where that was my religion. When I was learning the saxophone, I was studying a lot, practising 12 hours a day, and listening to Coltrane all the time and I was doing a lot of meditation as well. I was really involved with Tibetan Buddhism, doing retreats and doing a lot of study. I was very into it for quite a number of years. I've come out of that feeling like these pentatonics, these Nubian rhythms, these ancient rhythms, they make a lot of sense of the universe.