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Artist’s Choice: Nasheet Waits on Billy Higgins

Today’s top jazz performers pick 10 favorite tracks by the players, singers and styles that helped define them.

Billy Higgins
Charles Lloyd and Billy Higgins
Nasheet Waits

I had the distinct pleasure of being in the presence of Billy Higgins all throughout my development as a musician and man. He was always very encouraging to me, a young drummer in awe of his stature. He had one of the most generous spirits I’ve ever encountered. He was gentle and kind, but you didn’t mistake his kindness for weakness. He possessed a fire that permeated his physical presence and penetrated all those who were fortunate enough to be in his midst. His passion for life and music has been documented extensively for us to benefit from. He possessed a certain kind of subtlety and sophistication that is rarely found. These are just a few of the recordings that are most important to me-someone touched by Billy’s spirit.

“Melody for Melonae”

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