Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. Zakir HussainMaking Music

I was probably like 15 when I found this record, and I was starting to make music, so the title kind of drew me. I was also listening to the flute player, Hariprasad Chaurasia, I just kind of fell under his spell. As a 15-year-old, I was listening to classical stuff, while also listening to what everybody else my age was listening to. I think that’s sort of the beginning, in retrospect, the first inkling of a person whose love for music is a little more than just a listener. It’s more explorative, and there’s a hunger for discovery and to listen to more and to connect one thing to the other and not just stay with what’s popular. But yeah, I found Hariprasad Chaurasia and I just lost it, so I was trying to find a lot of his stuff. And of course, Zakir Hussain was amazing. And then I heard John McLaughlin for the first time in my life on this record, and that was just a wrap for me – it’s so beautiful. There’s so much movement there, the arrangement is so well thought out; it’s kind of journey-ish in a sense, these beautiful pieces that are outside of the classical music context, but still in it, and lots of crossover happening. Jan Garbarek, as well – I’d never really heard that type of jazz saxophone, if you even could call it that. So the four of them coming together blew my mind.

I think it began the design of something; records like this show you that music doesn’t have to be what’s in the mainstream. That’s really important, showing you these other paths, and these records were pushing the envelope then in a way that we – myself and peers of mine – are pushing it now. They showed you that things are possible and encouraged you to take risks.

PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today