Billy Hart

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

William Hart, 29 November 1940, Washington, DC, USA. Hart is a self-taught drummer who, by the early 00s, had established himself as one of jazz music’s most invaluable session players. In the early 60s he worked with Shirley Horn (vocals) and briefly with the Montgomery Brothers. In 1966, he joined Jimmy Smith and in 1968 moved on to the band of Wes Montgomery. Following Montgomery’s death Hart based himself in New York, becoming an integral part of the fusion and avant garde scenes. Sessions with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Eddie Harris and Pharoah Sanders followed, along with long-standing commitments with the innovative Herbie Hancock sextet (1969-73) and McCoy Tyner (1973-74). Hart showed his remarkable versatility by playing mainstream jazz with Stan Getz for three years (1974-1977). His first album as a leader, 1977’s Enhance, was a starkly avant garde session recorded while Hart was still playing with Getz.

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