Billy Hart #1

Eric Thielemans

This is your basement cave? 

Billy Hart

Yeah, you've been here before, right?

Eric Thielemans

No, no, no, I don't have any recollection coming there.

Billy Hart

Yeah, this is this is my junk room. 

Eric Thielemans

Yeah!

Your Kingdom!

Shall we just dive into it?

Billy Hart

Well give me some idea what we're doing now.

Eric Thielemans

We'll have a talk like we've had in the studio when recording Talking about the Weather. But it will be a bit more like an interview. That I'm asking you things

about resonance, more than I'm personally talking about it.  

Billy Hart

Okay. 

Eric Thielemans

So the subject matter is resonance. And resonance not limited to music only,

but as in how we dialogue with the world. How do we perceive it? Another way

to talk about resonance would be to talk about magic, if you want. How do we

invite magic or create magic? So it also refers to the unknown, to mystery,

to the mystical realm. And a first aspect that I want to look at is: how do we

artists, different types of artists prepare for magic? For example I know you are attached to a certain type of clothing when you play, and you like to put on a fresh shirt before playing a concert. And to make it easier, or more concrete, I wanted

to start with something very specific. Like, imagine that you wake up and your

first conscious thought is that tonight you have a gig that is a special gig for you. It's something that you really look forward to. I want you to pick up thinking about

it from that moment of waking up. How do you wake up, knowing that you do have

a gig that night? Are you excited by that thought?

Billy Hart

Well, the first thing that comes to my mind, which might be a little tricky for you is that it's different when you're younger, okay. So whatever my answer would be today is because I'm older, so I can kind of, maybe kind of remember a little bit what happened when I was younger. But to answer your question now truthfully would have to be from the state that I'm older. Being older when I wake up it is just to get out of bed!

Eric Thielemans

Haha.

Billy Hart

No, I mean really seriously, you know,  it's like, well, "do you think you've gotten enough rest to prepare to go to work?" Okay? Alright, like, Okay, well  "you've gotten six hours of sleep, maybe you should go back and get another hour or another two hours?" Yeah, So then the next thing to do is how would I get out? How would I get up? Like preparing for your meeting today? Like, I didn't do it,

but the idea was "well I think I'll check the weather."

Eric Thielemans

Yes, yes.

Billy Hart

Right. So okay, so how do I check the weather? Okay, I guess I'll turn on the television and check the weather huh?

Eric Thielemans

Right.

Billy Hart

So but for some reason I didn't do it. So okay, it can be something like that.

And except that, maybe I might even call somebody on the telephone to wake up.

I mean, I'm already awake, but to become conscious, you know, to become conscious of  what's around me. You know, because if I don't do that, then I'll have these other ideas, which sometimes which some kind of way could be kind of depressing. Like it's almost like I got to wake up to life and optimism and happiness or something. You know, and of course, a lot of that is because of what's going on now with the virus. I've been, I've been going through some feelings of negativity

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

You know, but so I have to get out of that. I have to get in another space. So,

I'll either you know, turn on the television and that's okay "There's somebody

else on the planet beside me."

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

Or the telephone will call or just to get up and have a regular function of life.

You know, so, and another thing about me that brings this up… Man, you're

the only one, wow… Who in the world ask a question like this?

Eric Thielemans

Hahaha.

Billy Hart

See how can I put it? This hasn't changed since I was young. I'm superstitious.

It's got to be a better word for that... did you, can help me figure it out? But I'm superstitious. I have things that I will do to put me in a in a certain mood or something like “Okay, It's nine o'clock, and maybe I would want more rest. So maybe I'll try to go back and relax until 11.” And then at 11 I'll turn on the television and look for the weather. To see if it's sunny outside, is it raining outside or whatever, and then I'll say “Okay, well now you got to get out of bed." You've turned the television on, like, you know, you gotta get out of bed. Okay? I'm not gonna jump out of bed like, I think if I was young, I would just "oh I'm awake!" Boom! Out of the bed! No, no, you can't just get out of bed. You get five minutes to get out of

it. Now, why didn't I do that when I first woke up two hours and five minutes ago?

I had to go through all of this just to get out of bed. So I guess another word for

this is is systematic. Everything I do is systematic like that. Right? All to prepare

for a gig or just this meeting.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm. Actually to perform somehow.

Billy Hart

Yes. Yeah. Right. So okay. Now in your case, for this meeting, I'm not going to care that much about how I look, because it's you. So what I will do next ? I might even do some kind of prayer or might even chant. Okay.

Eric Thielemans

Right. And just I'm curious, personally, these chants that you do, are they from

a specific cult or practice?

Billy Hart

Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Eric Thielemans

Do you you feel like sharing that? Or is that, is that, you wanna keep that a secret?

Billy Hart

Well I'll tell you where it comes from. When I was in Herbie Hancock's band, Buster Williams had, has a sister, well, he has many sisters, but he had this one sister that knew that I was interested in philosophical things and so she had this new way of chanting which is the Japanese thing "Nishiren Shoshu." So, she came actually, just to turn me on to it. So, but Buster was standing there. So, he got interested in it, you know, and he got so in it that period of time he became an official in the chanting religion of Nishiren Shoshu. So he turned Herbie onto it. And both of them Buster and Herbie feel that any success they have had in their life is because of this chanting. And some kind of way Herbie turned Wayne Shorter on to it. And so he feels the same way. Right. And they some kind of way knew Tina Turner from Ike and Tina Turner, they turned Tina Turner onto it. So somehow, over everything that Herbie had been doing he ended up doing a record date about Joni Mitchell. And he had Tina Turner because of their chanting relationship, he had Tina on his record. Now of all the records, he's done all the great records, he's done all he played with, he got Tina Turner on the record, because she chants of course. And, he feels that because of that... He's one of the only two instrumental people on the planet that have won a Grammy. Other one was Stan Getz for the Brazilian stuff. Other than that you either win a Latin Grammy or jazz Grammy or this or that, but he actually got the Record of the Year. And of course, he's sure it's because of his chanting. Well.... I was just I was just trying to keep it as short as possible, and it's already too long.  But the point is to get out of bed and pass the time, I will do that chanting. But only for that. Okay. So that would last maybe, usually about a minute. Then I'm out of bed and I take a shower, and I won't think of it again, if at all, until it's time to get out of bed again or whatever. I mean, there's people that chant for

a good parking space, I don’t do that,  but there’s people, musicians who do that, and they think they got their parking space because of the chanting. Maybe if I thought they were really successful I’d do that too.

Eric Thielemans

What I'm interested in is do you… whatever you do, then you need to have breakfast.

Billy Hart

Right, right. Well, yeah,

Eric Thielemans

So everything is like a preparation.

Billy Hart

Yes.

Eric Thielemans

Do you deal with the energy of doing that in terms of “this tonight I'm gonna do, this, tonight is the highlight of my energy, to accumulate and come together in

that moment. And so whatever I do now, is related to that.”

Billy Hart

Yeah, yeah.

Eric Thielemans

I'm curious about it because that's how it is for me, you know, I cannot wake up not knowing that I'm going to play tonight. And, or the same like you or for anything that I need, I feel that I somehow need to get out of my quote unquote normal state of being or consciousness and perform something. And, as a friend of mine said

in a beautiful way "consult the gods," you know, if you want to consult the gods, you got to be in a certain mood or in a certain mode of perception. I mean, you have to be in a certain place, whatever that is for you. And however you get there,

you know, but I think people have, obviously, culturally also different ways of doing that, and personally, and so, but yeah, it's already...

Billy Hart

But in my case it definitely has changed with age.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

You know, I do more of it now than I did when I was younger.

Eric Thielemans

But it seems like the way you explained it to me most of it is related to age. I mean to literally physically being older, getting out of bed is more, it takes more time. Now, now that you have said that, I'm also personally curious, about the aspects of that, that are not only physical. I suppose when your body's slower to wake up and more rigid than it used to be it also... I suppose there is a certain flexibility in your mind in being in the world. That is, when you have a younger flexible body, which seems self-evident, at least more evident, regardless of the fact that you that you probably have been aware of that for a long time, but when you get older and

your body's getting older, it's not helping in that sense. So it needs more attention and care.

Billy Hart

Right. Exactly.

Eric Thielemans

Is there another consciousness awareness related to that older, slower and less flexible body?

Billy Hart

What it does, what all of this ends up doing each time, which might happen, uhm, you know, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 times a day is what it brings about is another kind of awareness.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

The word is awareness. All of a sudden, I'm aware of this, aware of this that you know, this point. Okay, well, I'm aware of, Oh, "I didn't think of this". So "I thought

it" you know, I didn't think you know, these were things when I first woke up. I was, for some reason, I'm not aware of it anymore. Where when I was younger I still wouldn't have been aware of it. But I wouldn't, I wouldn't care. I wouldn't care whether I... So consequently, I was more likely to get in some positions of danger, because I would do things without awareness. I would just... I wouldn't care,

I would just want to experience whatever happens. Now, the awareness is a lot more important for me.

Eric Thielemans

Next obvious question, that just comes to mind expanding on this one is, now,

this growing awareness due to age did it change the way you play or are a musician playing music? And if so, in what ways?

Billy Hart

Well answer to that is I'm not sure, but, but I just won't take that chance. You know? Ultimately, I'm assuming that, without doing that I wouldn't function as well.

You know, because that awareness is, part of the awareness is that I will then,

I'll be put, I'll put myself in a position of surprise. Right. I'll sit down on the drums and then the energy of surprise is, is is better for me, okay? In other words, like, Whatever happens, I'll be able to. First of all I want to be in that position of whatever happens, I will function with whatever experience I've grown to have over a period of years. But where if I didn't do it I would just, I won't be as excited. I will, you know, huh, I'll just play out. I won't. You know, it'll be sort of like, I'm not aware. I'm just playing. I'm just playing this. The energy of surprise brings me a certain confidence, I guess.

Eric Thielemans

Okay. I can totally relate to that when you say that, knowing you the way I know you. I mean, from the moment you use the word surprise I'm like, of course,

I mean, this is what I see. I see somebody willing to be surprised to start with,

but also somebody who is generally surprised, there is a difference, the one is not not yet the other. I mean, you can want what you, whatever you want, if you don't end up being surprised. I mean, that's another reality, isn't it? You know, that's the difference between wanting something and experiencing something or wishing

for something to experience. In order to be surprised and to be in a in a modus

of being that invites surprise and knows how to deal with it. If you think back then, during a day I'm going to, I'm trying to make a loop back to the original question just to bring it back to that, that path that you have during the day from waking

up to that  highlight moment of surprise. If I understood you, well, you touch by different ways, these moments of awareness during the day, you touch that zone of surprise, like is it there? Did I understand that right, does that sound right? If I say it that way that you would be somebody who during the day just checks in with with surprise, whatever that modus is or that something in you that deals with that and says is it there? Yes it's there fine, okay, okay, you're there. You're with me. You know, as if you can look at or we can look at ourselves as many people inside of the same person. That's the one the Billy the Billy, that is the surprised one that is important for you, that you check in with with him quite a few times during the day.

Billy Hart

Yeah, yeah. I've got all these situations. Like a, like one thing would be to check

in with music at a certain point. So it might even be, like some music that I've prepared for, like my own personal rehearsal. But other times it'll be just some other music that I've never even heard before, in hopes that one of those things would bring me this energy just because I heard something that I liked. And that'll give me something that I will carry to the job with me.

Eric Thielemans

Okay.

Billy Hart

Right. I'll just carry out, carry that inspiration. Right. I still have little things, but over a period of time, being older, I've got all of these possibilities that I've set up during the day. Anything can take that away like having to do certain chores. Like go to the store to buy something as well, unless, unless something, another kind of surprise happens.

Eric Thielemans

Well, this is this is a funny thing for me. I mean, I don't know if it resonates within you as well, but there are those days that were caught up, you know, you have to teach a whole day. Travel goes wrong, you know, those days, where the conditions are far from ideal. You know, you haven't had any time to check in with the curious Billy, no inspiration whatsoever, a lot of frustration and anxiety to get to the gig on time, whatever the situation is. There are many of those quote unquote, very far from ideal days.

Billy Hart

Yes.

Eric Thielemans

In which you end up on stage having the most glorious resonant concert. Right.

So there is also a thing about that I think is very interesting. You know, you,

you can do all that stuff, but there is no guarantee.

Billy Hart

Right.

Eric Thielemans

Right. Right.

Billy Hart

But for me, I think of it as I've built up all this spare energy in case of that.

Of course, that doesn't even work sometimes. But when that other thing does happen, it's because I have somehow, had some extra from when it did happen.

Eric Thielemans

Sure. Yeah.

Billy Hart

But other times, I'm just burnt out. I'm just tired. But still, the experience covers that, you know, you sort of say, you play the cards, the way they dealt.

Eric Thielemans

Yeah. That's obviously also part of a jazz musician’s and improviser’s craft, right.

Billy Hart

Right. Right.

Eric Thielemans

We should be able to deal with that because I guess that's our craft, to deal with…

Billy Hart

And that's why, that's why I can walk off the bandstand and feel terrible and that'll be the time when not only some of the audience, but people on the bandstand will say, oh man, that was really great. 

Eric Thielemans

Hahaha. Isn't that amazing? Do you have an explanation for that? How do you rationalise this phenomenon?

Billy Hart

Well, because, this thing is not only me. I was just so subjective or even selfish

you know, I didn't want to look at it, how everybody else felt. I didn't care how they felt. I only cared about how I felt about it.

Eric Thielemans

It's easier to only care about how you feel when you get stuck and you don't feel very comfortable or something, right. Those are the moments when you tend to close up. At least me, but I have these experiences also, of course, like you, when you get off the stage and you played...  it goes in both directions. Sometimes I go off stage and even we the musicians, we had a great gig. And then the public is like “Yeah, yeah, it was nice. It was nice. It was nice.” And we're like "Jesus, we were

all over the place man we were psychic!"  "Yeah, maybe, yeah, it was a nice gig"

so you get this lukewarm reaction. And then another night it's more difficult and you're struggling to to really get it out there, and somehow there is a bit of struggle, and and then you go off stage and people are over the moon!

Billy Hart

Right.

Eric Thielemans

I started to, to rationalise this from the angle of Marshal McLuhan's "friction is information".  If things are too easy, if you are playing and everybody's surfing on the waves of creation, the Muses are breastfeeding you with the highest nectar, you might be fooling yourself.

Billy Hart

Hahahaha.

Eric Thielemans

And in a way information lies in resistance and I use this as a formula. If somebody plays too well technically and knows how to go over the drums 500 times back

and forth and can show you any acrobatics possible, it doesn't mean he or she's expressing a lot more than the possibility of a virtuoso technical thing on the drum set. I mean, what is the information being served? Where is the information?

You know, and I really like this “friction is information” thing. I think some of it has

to do with a little bit of struggle, so to speak, a little bit of discomfort.

Billy Hart

Right.

Eric Thielemans

I deliberately look for some degree of discomfort. I actually deliberately invite difficulties in way of unpreparedness, which is another way of preparing, you know. You can over-prepare a gig and there is no juice left. The gods could get bored with you, you know, it's like "yeah, yeah, we know this already.”

Billy Hart

Yeah. It brings up something else too though, since you've, you've wanna catch some of this baggage. Because of that, a lot of times I don't want to be around anybody, you know, as the final of preparation. I don't want to be around anybody.

I mean, even people that bring good vibes and you know, I don't want any of that

I just want you know, this you know, I want to save, or whatever that energy might be for the, for the surprise or the awareness of what happens.

Eric Thielemans

Is that a space, is it like a mental physical space that you feel. This… this you

were showing it with your hands. This thing,  this energy that you create, by not having people interfere…

Billy Hart

Yeah.

Eric Thielemans

Because you want to go to the place where, there is this like growing energy right,

I don't want to be disturbed before a concert. Is that something – it's  difficult to

put to words because I don't actually have words for that. So let's just find words – is it like as if you grow a bigger body or something, you grow, your energy grows,

your awareness grows and you're like, Okay, I'm, I'm starting to become, I don't know, bigger in a sense. Could you explain or word it like a space around your body that is growing? I'm curious because that's what it is for me. You know, there is a condensation of time and you start to prepare to go in another place? But on the other hand, there is the, the purpose of the performance, you know, which is basically where you get a lot of energy from the audience.

Billy Hart

You don't want to break that contact either, you want that to be part of the surprise, you know, or whatever, you know, like, that's why it's somebody in the audience, even if, even if they don't have any, it's still enough to give you some energy.

You know, I could have gotten that before, but I didn't want it before I you know?

Eric Thielemans

Mmhmm. Yeah. This is why I'm asking about preparation. I think that the preparation to your gig reveals a lot of the qualities that you value when playing.

Billy Hart

Yeah.

Eric Thielemans

Continuing with the day of the gig, so now we've covered your wake-up in your home, and ways of checking in with curiosity, and inspiration and energy from people and music. So let's imagine you're in Jersey, and you have a concert in New York.

Billy Hart

That's what happens most of the time anyway.

Eric Thielemans

Okay. So it's that time of day to leave for the venue. It's three o'clock in the afternoon, you take the car out, and what happens next? Your systematic way

of going about the day, does it include getting a coffee or a tea?

Billy Hart

Let's see. Well, I'm already in that zone. Okay. so so so you're…

Eric Thielemans

…when I get into the car and I get moving towards the gig, a different thing

starts for me…

Billy Hart

Yeah, I mean, but, you know, I haven't gotten in the car yet, hahaha.

Eric Thielemans

Hahaha. Ok.

Billy Hart

You know,  preparing depending on what the season is, you know, what kind of clothes you're going to put on, you know, you know, what,  shoes what pants what shirt, you know? And that could be something where I change my mind but of course be at my age now, I try to think of those things ahead of time, where when

I was younger, you know, whatever it was in front of my face is what I would do

you know? But now it's like "what day is it?" You know, like, is this Tuesday or is it Thursday? Is it you know, it's, it's a weekend. So you get dressed.

Eric Thielemans

It's the last, it’s the last night of a week in the village vanguard.

Billy Hart

Oh, yes, yeah.

Eric Thielemans

And a couple special guests in the audience that you know that will come.

Billy Hart

Oh oh. That's difficult. Anybody that I know is a distraction. You know, except

when I was younger, when I was younger, the only distraction would be if it was

my parents.

Eric Thielemans

Yeah. Okay.

Billy Hart

You know, but, other than that, whatever happened, cause it was more like a party or something, you know. That doesn't happen anymore. Because now that I'm older, whatever that surprise is, I prepare for that because I'm trying to accomplish something musically. So part of that preparation is if I have time, which almost never happens, I would like to warm up at home first, that's what those drums are there for. But, somehow it never happens, you know, like,  it'll happen once out of, out of four months, I mean, one afternoon out of four months, but anyway, that's as some kind of way helps me feel more prepared for this energy thing. Instead of making you tired, it gives you energy. So I've done all of that. And now I'm getting in the car. And I'm going to put on some kind of music either studying the music,

for the gig, or, or I don't want that, that's, that's too much. That's too hard. That's too much of a distraction. I have a surprise whatever the music is on the radio, and that could be anything. It could be anything and you know, anything most likely was

on the radio or something. But anything on the radio as opposed to well, the jazz station or the European classical. Anyway. So now I'm in the car. now I will take

the exact same route I've been taking for 20 years, the exact same route. So that means, you know, I'm familiar with the stop signs, the stoplights, the traffic, everything, I know everything. And if one thing doesn't work, then this works and then that doesn't work this works. That goes goes goes like that. And if everything works out, then I don't even remember where I'm going I'm just, just going and except for certain things where you have to, you know, you have to keep from killing yourself. So you have to be aware that this is going to happen or this is going to happen and, and you know, and you've been doing it so long, you know, how long the lights work and all that. So you go the same way. Now finding a parking space, you know where to look for the parking space. And if if, if you're lucky, you'll find the appropriate parking space that you would want in my case, is something close to the gig. When I was younger, I might have wanted something farther away from the gig. Just so I could have an experience walking from the car to the gig.

Eric Thielemans

When you play in the Village Vanguard do you bring your own drums?

Billy Hart

Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, that's another thing. whatever I'm wearing or,

or whatever I'm thinking, you know, I don't want to have to think about it.

Eric Thielemans

Yeah... that's why you bring your own drums, you mean?

Billy Hart

Yeah, yeah. So I, yeah, so that's how I get to the gig. So I get to the gig, you know, you go downstairs now. With the quartet with my band everybody wants to “Hey, man, how you doing? You know what's going on,” you know, “I did this and then”

but I don’t want to do that. I want to go somewhere to sit by myself. You can do that. But eventually I'm going to want some of that time by myself to the point where, where I'll go up and sit by the drums sometime and just talk to whoever is sitting there, right, if they say anything, rather than have to talk to somebody I know.

Eric Thielemans

I relate to that. At a certain moment I feel like the energy accumulates in me and gets too high for that type of interaction. And also after a gig, I need time to…

I cannot just be with people and talk have a normal conversation. I think it's difficult in general, but I think after a gig, it takes me more than an hour, easily, almost two hours to just get, to just bring it down to earth and be able to, to really sit.

Billy Hart

But a lot of kind of the energy, whatever it is, it's almost like you can overload yourself with the energy and having too much of it without being able to disperse

it, it makes you makes you tired.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

It makes me tired. I wish, in that case, it would have been better to come to the

gig tired. But you never know. It's always a gamble.

Eric Thielemans

Sure. Sure. It's not all in your in your hands, so you have to juggle…

Billy Hart

Right.

Eric Thielemans

Can we talk about tuning? You could say preparing is a way of tuning yourself

to that state of curiosity, but I know of course, that you tune your instrument in

a certain way, or in certain ways. We talked about it a little bit in talking about the weather, but I think one way or another, it might be interesting to just revisit it. How do you tune, why do you tune it that way?  So, going back to the Village Vanguard, now you have your  instrument with you, how do you relate that instrument to the venue, the room? Are there occasions when you place your drums in different spots or that you have the freedom to put your drums anywhere in the room to play? Or are the other things that come to mind when I when I say this for you?

Billy Hart

I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're saying. But something comes to

mind immediately. You know because you're you, I mean in other words, there's things,  've already told you things that, not only have I never told anybody else,

but I probably won't tell anybody else. Right? Anyway. No, I set up the drums in relationship to where I want the piano to be.

Eric Thielemans

Okay.

Billy Hart

Right now, I play with different piano players. So there are some piano players that want the piano to be in a way where they want the drums to be so that's always

a little dance. Yeah, okay. Right. So I don't know if you've noticed that sometimes

I try to get to the gig early.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

So I can set the drums up where we I can… Now if the piano player gets there and decides to move to piano, then that's another kind of dance. If I can if he moves the piano, then I want to move the drums. But then if it's his gig, right, and he wants to this, and then I would do that, but either way, the same things apply. But if I had

my way, you know, because I've been doing it so long so often, you know, I wanted somewhere where I feel that I can hear the rest of the instruments better. Now,

so if you know, it's just one drum, but if I'm playing with say The Cookers or something, where there’s four frontline people, they want their own individual relationship with the drums, right? So like, the guy that wants the most from the drums is the guy that stands the farthest away from me. It seems like if he wanted the most from the drums, he would stand the closest to me. So he's the one guy that wants me to play louder all the time. And say, "Man, if you want me to play louder, why don't you just come closer?" No, but he wants to stay as far away as possible. So that makes makes me have to play even harder. Now the guy that's the closest to me, it's already too loud for him. Hahaha

Eric Thielemans

Hahaha 

Billy Hart

Right? I mean, that's just in The Cookers, but then you know, if I'm in a trio say with Aaron Parks then that's hardly any problem at all, you know, for my experience,

it means I wouldn't play that loud with him anyway. But but there are people that, you know, that aren't that easy. But basically, I want the drums at a certain place

on the piano. Really, you know, and that goes no matter how small a venue or how large the venue. So I'm saying that because if you have some of these concerts, these outdoor concerts, and you have a soundman and they have their own idea where they want the drums to be, and almost to a point it's not never what I want. Right. It's never what I want, you know. They want to put you on a stand. And they want to put you as far away from the rest of the instruments as possible, because they're more interested in how it looks than how it sounds. And I'm more interested in how it sounds than how it looks. 

Eric Thielemans

I know you tune your drums to certain keys, to certain tones.

Billy Hart

Yeah. This is the same all the time. I'm still thinking about it. I mean, you know, like, you know, anytime I get a chance to think about it, I'll think about it, because some people play the drums. Well, this is the way I'm looking at it recently. Some people play the drums, you know, with this new sort of pop vocabulary, they see the drums in terms of rhythms. And I see your drums in terms of patterns, I started to say, thought to say melodies, but maybe not melodies, but patterns. You know, like that. So. So, and that has a lot to do with how I've been tuned because I didn't always tune the drums. In fact, for a long time, I didn't believe in tuning drums. You know, but it's just at my age in the last 20 years and say, I just want something that I

know beforehand. You know, that's, I think it's an age kind of thing now, you know, because there used to be a time I would play them however they were tuned or however they were set up if someone you know, I had to play with somebody else says on the show, I would just play the drums the way that the drummer had him set up That way, I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time fixing everything I just walk over and play and leave. You know, but now, you know, I want everything to sound the way I want it to sound. And I guess that's because of patterns that I play.

Eric Thielemans

Yeah, I can, I can hear what you see.

Billy Hart

So I guess it's supposed to be melodic. But on the other hand, I give you an example. This is just something that came up that could be totally irrelevant.

I remember when I was playing with Ray Brown, the bass player, and I had certain revelations about him. But it turns out that some of the things that I discovered about him was more his harmonic knowledge than his excellent rhythm knowledge. I thought of him as a certain kind of timekeeper. Which he was, but it turns out

a certain thing about perfect time has to do with the actual notes.

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

But that brings up something that's… so suppose you're not playing with a bass player. Suppose you playing with another drummer?

Eric Thielemans

Mm hmm.

Billy Hart

That's not a bass. Anyway, it still comes out to the same thing. You know, it's a lot of a lot of the groove that I'm hearing is the melody is the notes for however long it is, you know maybe it'll change tomorrow or maybe is has already changed but that's a… that brings up one more thing about that, you know, it's not just the notes.

It's the texture.

Eric Thielemans

Yes. Yes.

Billy Hart

You know, So one drum set might have the correct tuning, but it doesn't feel right

to touch them…