Billy Hart

Last updated
Billy Hart
Billy Hart.jpg
Hart performing in 1978
Background information
Born (1940-11-29) November 29, 1940 (age 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Labels Horizon, Gramavision, Arabesque, HighNote, Enja, SteepleChase, ECM
Associated acts Herbie Hancock, The Cookers

Billy Hart (born November 29, 1940) [1] is an American jazz drummer and educator.



Hart was born in Washington, D.C., [1] where early on in his career he performed with Otis Redding and Sam and Dave and then with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn. He was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964–1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966–68). [1] Following Montgomery's death in 1968, Hart moved to New York City, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland. [2]

Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock's sextet (1969–73) and played with McCoy Tyner (1973–74), Stan Getz (1974–77), and Quest (1980s), in addition to freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972's On the Corner ). [2]

Since the early 1990s, Hart has been associated with Oberlin Conservatory of Music, [3] and is also adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music [4] and Western Michigan University. [5] He also conducts private lessons through the New School and New York University. The drummer often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium. [6]

He has led a group with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street, is featured in a trio led by pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, another led by guitarist Assaf Kehati, and has performed in a band known as the Cookers, with Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Craig Handy, George Cables and Cecil McBee, all who have toured extensively and recorded two CDs. [7]

Hart resides in Montclair, New Jersey, where he has a music studio described by JazzTimes as his "inner sanctum". [8] [9]


Billy Hart (right), Johnny Alegre (center), and bassist Ron McClure (left), recording Johnny Alegre 3 in New York City McClure-Alegre-Hart.JPG
Billy Hart (right), Johnny Alegre (center), and bassist Ron McClure (left), recording Johnny Alegre 3 in New York City
Billy Hart at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California Billy Hart 1.jpg
Billy Hart at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California

As leader

As sideman

Dates indicate the year of the album's release. If the recording was issued more than a year later, the recording date is followed by the release date in brackets. "With" marks collaborative recordings as band and with the musicians equal credit for the album. Otherwise the Leader/line-up column is sorted by the musician's first name. Musicians and labels are only linked on first appearance.

1961 [1980] Wes Montgomery Live at Jorgies Jazz ClubVGM
1961, 1968 [?]Wes MontgomeryLive at Jorgies Jazz Club and MoreVGM
1963 Buck Clarke The Buck Clarke Sound Argo
1964 Jimmy Smith Christmas Cookin' Verve
1965Jimmy SmithThe Amazing Jimmy Smith Trio Live at the Village Gate Metro
1965Jimmy SmithLive in Concert – The Incredible Jimmy SmithMetro
1965Jimmy Smith La métamorphose des cloportes (O.S.T.)Verve
1968 Eddie Harris Pourquoi l'Amérique (O.S.T.)AZ
1968Eddie Harris Silver Cycles Atlantic
1968 Paul Jeffrey QuintetElectrifying Sounds of the Paul Jeffrey Quintet Savoy
1969Eddie Harris High Voltage Atlantic
1969Eddie Harris Free Speech Atlantic
1969Melvin JacksonFunky Skull Limelight
1969 Pharoah Sanders Karma Impulse!
1969 [1973]Pharoah Sanders Izipho Zam (My Gifts) Strata-East
1970 Marian McPartland Ambiance Halcyon
1970 [1974] McCoy Tyner Asante Blue Note
1971 Herbie Hancock Mwandishi Warner Bros.
1971 Harold Land A New Shade of Blue Mainstream
1971 Wayne Shorter Odyssey of Iska Blue Note
1971 Joe Zawinul Zawinul Atlantic
1972 Norman Connors Dance of Magic Cobblestone
1972 Miles Davis On the Corner Columbia
1972 [1974]Miles Davis Big Fun (material from On the Corner sessions)Columbia
1972 Hal Galper Wild Bird Mainstream
1972Herbie Hancock Crossings Warner Bros.
1972 James Mtume with the Mtume Umoja EnsembleAlkebu-Lan – Land of the Blacks (Live at The East) [10] Strata-East
1972Pharoah Sanders Black Unity Impulse!
1972 Buddy Terry Pure Dynamite Mainstream
1972 Pete Yellin Dance of AllegraMainstream
1973 Catalyst Perception Muse
1973 Charles Earland The Dynamite Brothers (O.S.T.) Prestige
1973Herbie Hancock Sextant Columbia
1973 Eddie Henderson Realization Capricorn
1973Marc Levin EnsembleSongs Dances and Prayers [11] Sweet Dragon
1974 [1976] Walter Bishop Jr. Valley Land Muse
1974 Carlos Garnett Black Love Muse
1974Eddie Henderson Inside Out Capricorn
1974 Azar Lawrence Bridge into the New Age Prestige
1974 Bennie Maupin The Jewel in the Lotus ECM
1974 Cecil McBee Mutima Strata-East
1974 [1977]James MtumeRebirth CycleThird Street
1974 Hannibal Marvin Peterson and The Sunrise OrchestraChildren of the Fire Sunrise
1974 Charles Sullivan Genesis Strata-East
1974McCoy Tyner Sama Layuca Milestone
1975 Kenny Barron Lucifer Muse
1975 Joseph Bonner Triangle Whynot
1975 Joanne Brackeen Snooze Choice
1975 Sonny Fortune Awakening Horizon
1975 Stan Getz Jazz Jamboree 74, Vol. 2Muza
1975Stan Getz with João Gilberto The Best of Two Worlds Columbia
1975 [1982]Stan Getz The Master Columbia
1975Eddie Henderson Sunburst Blue Note
1975 Bob Moses Bittersuite in the OzoneMozown
1975 Michel Sardaby Gail
1975 Harold Vick Don't Look Back Strata-East
1975 Buster Williams Pinnacle Muse
1975Stan Getz (one track, a.o.) Standard School Broadcast "Music Makers": Woodwinds & ReedsChevron
1976 [1978]Joanne Brackeen Invitation Freedom
1976Hal Galper Reach Out! SteepleChase
1976 [2016]Stan Getz with João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto '76 Resonance
1976Eddie Henderson Heritage Blue Note
1976 Pat Martino Exit Muse
1976Charles Sullivan Re-Entry Whynot
1976Buster WilliamsCrystal ReflectionsMuse
1977Black RenaissanceBody, Mind and Spirit [12] Baystate
1977 [1979] Richard Davis Harvest Muse
1977Stan GetzLive at MontmartreSteepleChase
1977Stan GetzAnother WorldColumbia
1977Stan Getz Mort d'un pourri (O.S.T.)Melba
1977Herbie Hancock V.S.O.P. Columbia
1977 Eddie Jefferson The Main Man Inner City
1977 Andy LaVerne Another World SteepleChase
1977John Spider MartinAbsolutelyImprov
1977 Dave McKenna, The Wilbur Little Quartet Oil & VinegarHoneydew
1977 Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Trio 1SteepleChase
1977Niels-Henning Ørsted PedersenTrio 2SteepleChase
1977 Doug Raney Introducing Doug Raney SteepleChase
1977 Zbigniew Seifert Man of the Light MPS
1977 John Stowell Golden DeliciousInner City
1978 Pepper Adams Reflectory Muse
1978Kenny Barron Innocence Wolf
1978Walter Bishop Jr. Cubicle Muse
1978 [1982]with Walter Bishop, Jr. and George Mraz The Trio Progressive
1978 Hamiet Bluiett Resolution Black Saint
1978Joanne Brackeen Tring-a-Ling Choice
1978 Arnett Cobb Arnett Cobb Is Back Progressive
1978 Albert Dailey That Old Feeling SteepleChase
1978 Billy Harper Soran-Bushi, B.H. Denon
1978 Buck Hill This Is Buck Hill SteepleChase
1978 Shirley Horn A Lazy Afternoon SteepleChase
1978 Jimmy Knepper with Joe Temperley Just Friends Hep
1978Hannibal Marvin Peterson Naima Eastworld
1978Doug Raney Cuttin' Loose SteepleChase
1978 Bobby Watson as Robert WatsonEstimated Time of Arrival Roulette
1979 Chico Freeman Spirit Sensitive India Navigation
1979Mack GoldsburyAnthropo-LogicMuse
1979 Dick Griffin Now Is the Time Trident
1979Glen HallThe Book of the HeartSonora
1979Buck Hill Scope SteepleChase
1979 [1982] Duke Jordan Thinking of You SteepleChase
1979 Lee Konitz Yes, Yes, Nonet SteepleChase
1979 [1984]Lee Konitz Live at Laren Soul Note
1979 Jim McNeely The Plot ThickensGatemouth
1979 John McNeil Quintet FaunSteepleChase
1979John McNeil & Tom Harrell Look to the SkySteepleChase
1979Cam NewtonThe Motive Behind the SmileInner City
1979Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Quartet Dancing on the Tables SteepleChase
1979Doug Raney with Jimmy Raney Stolen Moments SteepleChase
1979 Jimmy Rowles Paws That RefreshChoice
1979 John Scofield Who's Who? Arista
1979 Louis Smith Quintet Prancin' SteepleChase
1979with Clark Terry, Johnny Hartman, Oscar Peterson, Victor Sproles and Chris Woods Ain't Misbehavin' Pablo
1979Buster WilliamsHeartbeatMuse
1980 Pierre Dørge QuartetBallad Round the Left CornerSteepleChase
1980 Teddy Edwards Out of This World SteepleChase
1980Chico Freeman Peaceful Heart, Gentle Spirit Contemporary
1980Duke Jordan Change a Pace SteepleChase
1980 Mingus Dynasty Live at MontreuxAtlantic
1980Doug Raney Listen SteepleChase
1980 Mickey Tucker The CrawlMuse
1980 Tom Varner Tom Varner Quartet Soul Note
1980Buster WilliamsDreams Come True Buddah
1981 Pepper Adams Urban Dreams Palo Alto
1981 Franco Ambrosetti Heartbop Enja
1981Hamiet Bluiett Dangerously Suite Soul Note
1981 [1983]Buck Hill Impressions SteepleChase
1981 Terumasa Hino Double RainbowCBS/Sony
1981 Joachim Kühn Nightline New YorkSandra Music
1981Mingus DynastyLive at MontreuxAtlantic
1981Dave SchnitterGlowingMuse
1982 Johnny Coles New Morning Criss Cross Jazz
1982 Art Farmer Quartet A Work of Art Concord Jazz
1982Chico FreemanTradition in Transition Elektra Musician
1982Stan Getz Pure Getz Concord Jazz
1982 [1995]Stan GetzBlue SkiesConcord Jazz
1982Buck Hill Easy to Love SteepleChase
1982 Jay Hoggard Mystic Winds, Tropic Breezes India Navigation
1982 [1986]Jimmy Knepper 1st Place BlackHawk
1982 Arnie Lawrence RenewalPalo Alto
1982Cecil McBee Flying Out India Navigation
1983 [1991]with Stanley Cowell, Billy Harper and Reggie Workman Such Great FriendsStrata-East
1983Chico Freeman The Search India Navigation
1983 James Newton James Newton Gramavision
1983 The Jazztet Nostalgia Baystate
1983Tom Varner Motion/Stillness Soul Note
1984 Larry Coryell Comin' Home Muse
1984Chico Freeman feat. Bobby McFerrin Tangents Elektra Musician
1984 Kip Hanranhan Conjure – Music for the Texts of Ishmael ReedAmerican Clavé
1984Jimmy Knepper I Dream Too Much Soul Note
1984James NewtonLuellaGramavision
1985 [1988]Pepper Adams The Adams Effect Uptown
1985 Paul Bley My Standard SteepleChase
1985Larry Coryell Equipoise Muse
1985 Johnny Dyani Quartet Angolian CrySteepleChase
1985 [1988]Duke Jordan Time on My Hands SteeplChase
1985 [1989]Duke Jordan As Time Goes By SteepleChase
1985 Didier Lockwood Out of the BlueGramavision
1985James NewtonThe African Flower – The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy StrayhornBlue Note
1985 Big Nick Nicholas Big NickIndia Navigation
1985Doug Raney Guitar Guitar Guitar SteepleChase
1985 Idrees Sulieman Groovin' SteepleChase
1986Miles Davis Tutu Warner Bros.
1986 [1991]Shirley Horn Trio Violets for Your Furs SteepleChase
1987with Tal Farlow, John Abercrombie, Larry Carlton, Larry Coryell, John Scofield and John Patitucci All Strings AttachedVerve
1987 Khan Jamal Thinking of You Storyville
1987 Ralph Moore 623 C Street Criss Cross Jazz
1987with Quest IIStoryville
1987with QuestMidpoint – Quest III Live at the Montmartre Copenhagen DenmarkStoryville
1988 Gary Bartz Quartet MonsoonSteepleChase
1988 John Handy Excursion in BlueQuartet
1988 Tom Harrell Stories (1991 reissue as Visions)Contemporary
1988Duke Jordan TrioTime on My HandsSteepleChase
1988Mingus Dynasty Live at the Theatre Boulogne-Billancourt/Paris, Vol. 1 Soul Note
1988Mingus Dynasty Live at the Theatre Boulogne-Billancourt/Paris, Vol. 2 Soul Note
1988with QuestN.Y. Nites – StandardsPAN Music
1988with QuestNatural SelectionPathfinder/Core
1988Doug Raney Something's Up SteepleChase
1989Paul Bley Trio The Nearness of You SteepleChase
1989with Klaus Ignatzek and Ron McClure Take It EasyNuovo
1989 Judy Niemack Long as You're Living Freelance
1990 Joey DeFrancesco Where Were You? Columbia
1990Lars Møller QuartetPyramid Stunt
1990with QuestOf One MindCMP
1991Joanne Brackeen Is It Really True Konnex
1991Shirley Horn You Won't Forget Me Verve
1991James Newton/David Murray David Murray/James Newton Quintet DIW
1992Sonny FortuneIt Ain't What It WasKonnex
1992with the Western Jazz Quartet (Trent Kynaston, Steve Zegree and Tom Knific)Firebird
1992 Jarmo Savolainen First Sight Timeless
1993with Santi Debriano and Arthur Blythe 3–OlogyKonnex
1993 Charles Lloyd The Call ECM
1993 Warren Vaché Horn of Plenty Muse
1994with Jerry Bergonzi, Mike Stern, Andy LaVerne and George Mraz Vertical Reality Musidisc
1994 George Cables Quiet Fire SteepleChase
1994 Stanley Cowell Setup SteepleChase
1994Sonny Fortune Four in One Blue Note
1994Dick GriffinThe Eighth Wonder & MoreKonnex
1994with David Liebman and Cecil McBee The SeasonsSoul Note
1994Charles Lloyd All My Relations ECM
1994 Joe Lovano Quartets: Live at the Village Vanguard Blue Note
1994Judy NiemackNight and the MusicFreelance
1994 Grover Washington, Jr. All My Tomorrows Columbia
1995Sonny Fortune A Better Understanding Blue Note
1995Shirley Horn The Main Ingredient Verve
1995 Cæcilie Norby Cæcilie NorbyBlue Note
1995Jarmo SavolainenTrue ImageA-Records
1996George Cables Dark Side, Light Side SteepleChase
1996 Ray Drummond Vignettes Arabesque
1996 Jon Jang SextetTwo Flowers on a StemSoul Note
1996Lee Konitz It's You SteepleChase
1996Charles Lloyd Canto ECM
1996 Chris Potter Moving In
1997 Nick Brignola Poinciana Reservoir
1997 [1999]Ray Drummond 1-2-3-4 Arabesque
1997 Horace Tapscott Thoughts of Dar es Salaam Arabesque
1998 Dave Douglas Moving Portrait DIW
1999Kenny Barron Spirit Song Verve
1999with Doug Raney and Joey DeFrancesco The BackbeatSteepleChase
2001Pat Martino Live at Yoshi's Blue Note
2002Charles Lloyd Lift Every Voice ECM
2002 [2005] Frank Morgan Raising the Standard HighNote
2003Hilde VanhoveInsenseGandharva
2003 [2007]Frank Morgan A Night in the Life HighNote
2004Frank Morgan City Nights: Live at the Jazz Standard HighNote
2005with Mark O'Leary and Tomasz Stanko Levitation Leo
2006Frank Morgan Reflections
2007with David Liebman, Richie Beirach and Ron McClureRedemption hatOLOGY
2007with QuestRe-Dial (Live in Hamburg) Outnote
2010 Jean-Michel Pilc True Story Disques Dreyfus
2011 Brian Landrus Traverse
2011with QuestCircular DreamingEnja
2011Iñaki SandovalMiracielos
2011 Tied & Tickled Trio La Place Demon Morr
2012Karlheinz Miklin and Heiri KänzigCymbal SymbolsTCB Music
2012 Odean Pope Odean's ThreeIn+Out
2014 Tisziji Munoz Heart Trance RevelationAnami
2014 Yelena Eckemoff feat. Mark Turner, Joe Locke & George Mraz A Touch of RadianceL & H
2014with Bobby Hutcherson, David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco Enjoy the View Blue Note
2015Yelena Eckemoff feat. Arild Andersen LionsL & H
2015John Raymond, Dan Tepfer, Joe MartinForeign Territory [13] Fresh Sound
2015Aaron Parks feat. Ben Street Find The WayECM
2016Yelena Eckemoff feat. Mark Feldman & Ben Street Leaving Everything BehindL & H
2016Marcos VarelaSan Ygnacio Origin
2019Joey DeFranceso In the Key of the Universe Mack Avenue

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  1. 1 2 3 Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1096. ISBN   0-85112-939-0.
  2. 1 2 Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2000). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Fifth ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN   9780140514520.
  3. "Oberlin Conservatory of Music faculty page". Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  4. "New England Conservatory of Music faculty page". New England Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  5. Wood, William. "Master jazz drummer Billy Hart returns to Western Michigan University drum choir". Kalamazoo Gazette. MLive Media Group. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  6. "Biography : Billy Hart". Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  7. Micallef, Ken (15 May 2017). "With Experience on their Side, The Cookers Heat Up Dizzy's". Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  8. "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger , September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Billy Hart -- A versatile, inventive drummer, Hart lives in Montclair."
  9. Seidel, Mitchell. "Billy Hart", JazzTimes , April 25, 2019. Accessed January 11, 2021. "The inner sanctum of Billy Hart’s Montclair, N.J. home is a basement music studio that serves as a combination listening room, recreation room and classroom for visiting music students.... Billy Hart’s home looks like most others off Montclair’s main street of Bloomfield Avenue, a multistory, circa-1920s wood-frame structure with a small front yard and a narrow driveway on the side, except for the exterior color scheme of lavender and purple, which seems to scream 'alternative lifestyle' and makes the house leap out from the rest of the block."
  10. Alkebu-Lan – Land of the Blacks at Discogs (list of releases)
  11. Songs Dances and Prayers at Discogs (list of releases)
  12. Body, Mind and Spirit at Discogs (list of releases)
  13. Chinen, Nate (5 May 2015). "Review: John Raymond, Uncovering the Possibilities of the Familiar". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2015.