Re: Tony Williams
I have a lot of Tony William's music. He has a lot of "rocker" in him. He is like a Bonham of jazz. Here's why:
Tony Williams was notoriously hard to impress, that is watching other drummers. He had no appreciation for any drummer that could not vary dynamics and play in the pocket. A lot of rock drummers have a tendency to do that.
Tony summoned a lot of power, but it was all in context of dynamic contrasts, not just loudness all the time, or for loudness sake. He did once say (paraphrasing) "Drums are meant to be hit."
He had that screaming yellow gretsch kit with tightly tuned remo cs black dots on top and bottom. He coaxed tonality, depth, power and variable dynamics from those drums. But he also knew how to bring on the thunder. He had a formidable signiture sound.
Listening to Tony Williams is also an easy introduction for rockers into jazz- because his force is easy to recognize.