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Billy Hart. What can I say? This guy has given us all so much through his music, his playing, his energy and wisdom. It would take forever to list all my favorite recordings of him, so I’ll spare you that.
In 2019 my dream came true and I got to work with him in the studio. Let me tell you, I have never experienced anything like it before — feeling his beat up close is otherworldly! During the breaks I kept asking him questions and he took his time answering all of them in great detail. I was struck by his humility and honesty.
We kept in touch after that and also talked about doing an interview. One day in September of 2020 I called him up to ask him if we could schedule a date for it. His reply was: “Well, how about NOW?” That wasn’t exactly what I had expected, but I told him I needed to bring my kids to bed and then I would call him. Normally, when I’m about to interview somebody, I spend days listening to that artist exclusively. Reading interviews & books, watching videos, going back to my favorite albums and also discovering new ones – all that is part of my process. Well, this time was different. But I had to remind myself that I have been preparing for this interview for all my life. I still remember those moments when my father played “Crossings” for me for the first time…