Jazz Currents: Happy Birthday Billy Hart

Nov 18, 2015

Billy Hart

Drummer, composer and bandleader Billy Hart was born in Washington D. C. and is celebrating his 75th birthday in November.  When many people would be slowing down, Billy Hart continues his commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience with everyone he meets.


In high school, Billy befriended the revered saxophonist Buck Hill who introduced him to jazz and gave him two Charlie Parker recordings that set Hart on his path.  Buck Hill also introduced Hart to local pianist and vocalist Shirley Horn, with whom Billy would learn and perform extensively.   The training with Hill and Horn became a foundational part of Billy's musical concept.  Hart went on to work with B3 organist Jimmy Smith, guitarist Wes Montgomery, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Stan Getz, Miles Davis and many others.   In the 1980's, Hart began recording with his own band that consisted of a group of younger musicians who would all become very influential in their own way.  The 1990's brought recordings and tours with Charles Lloyd, Tom Harrell, and the Saxophone Summit, as well as another incarnation of the Billy Hart Band and three more recordings.  In 2003, the Billy Hart Quartet would take shape and the group has been touring and recording on the ECM record label.

Billy Hart is still touring and recording with a multitude of artists and continues to push the envelope on the drums.  Happy 75th Billy Hart!

Track Listing

1.   Oleo (Sonny Rollins) from Buck Hill's This is Buck Hill

2.   I'm Old Fashioned (Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer) from Shirley Horn's A Lazy Afternoon

3.   The Champ (Jimmy Smith) from Jimmy Smith's Live at the Village Gate

4.   Ostinato (Herbie Hancock) from Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi

5.   Layla-Joy (Billy Hart) from Billy Hart's Enchance

6.   Lorca (Billy Hart) from Billy Hart's Oshumare

7.   Snow Leopard (Richie Beirach) from Quest's Quest III - Live At The Montmartre-Midpoint

8.   Oceans of Time (Billy Hart) from Billy Hart's Oceans of Time

9.   Confirmation (Charlie Parker) from Billy Hart's Quartet

10.  Tolli's Dance (Ben Street) from Billy Hart's All Our Reasons