Brian Blade is a drummer's drummer. He's played with Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, and Bob Dylan. He also leads his own ensemble, The Fellowship Band.
Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Blade was raised on gospel, soul, and funk. But when he when he was 16 years old, a friend gave him a cassette of Joni Mitchell's Hejira, and it changed the way he understood music.
"There was so much description emotionally in the poetry and the harmony," Blade explains. "You know there's a question in that sound... Joni's words and music started to speak to me in a way that other music hadn't before."
You can hear Mitchell's influence on Blade's first recording as a singer and songwriter, 2009's Mama Rosa.
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Bonus Track: "The Dawntreader"
From Joni Mitchell's album Travelogue (with Brian Blade on drums)