Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. Herbie HancockMwandishi

One of the most influential recordings for me. I remember when I first met Billy Hart. I was in Turkey with Roy Campbell and William Parker, and Billy Hart was there with The Cookers. We played and he was backstage getting ready to go on and I went up to him and said: ‘Hey, Mr Hart. I’m very happy to meet you.’ And he said: ‘Hamid, I know who you are. We’ve been watching you. You’re one of the next guys under us…’ I was touched. I said: ‘I have to tell you that one of the most influential recordings for me and perhaps many other drummers too, was because the way you were playing time and then going into these really seamless open spaces and playing these odd metres on the Mwandishi record’. His eyes teared up and he said, ‘nobody ever talks to me about that time period. It’s just a few people who seem to know about that’. That time period is just incredible. I think they did maybe two, three recordings at the most. Mwandishi, they did, and Crossings. That’s some of the best music ever. They’re playing these odd metres, then they’re playing time and then they’ll go into this open, spacious stuff.

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