Thread: Tony Williams
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:32 AM
jay norem
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Nothing wrong at all with prefering Tony Williams' work. And it's not that big a deal if you make a historically innacurate statement here or there. NOBODY on this forum is the ultimate authority on jazz or any other kind of drumming or music.
All I'd ask is this: what good does it do to focus on the style of one drummer? Your chances of playing in the kind of situations that Tony Williams found himself in are mostly non-existent. You're never going to be in anywhere close to a scene like that. See, the need for another Elvin Jones or Tony Williams just doesn't exist.
So what about your own drumming? Do you intend to play jazz, and if so what kind, and how? So much jazz these days is basically just a singer backed by a trio, playing rubbish like "When Sonny Gets Blue" to a roomfull of drunks. Not much need for Tony Williams-style drumming there.
We tend to get, I think, a little too drum-centric, and really it's not doing anyone any good. Approaching jazz doesn't require a history degree, and it doesn't require that you play like anyone else. What it does require is a familiarity with the music, a realistic attitude, a certain amount of chops, and maybe, perhaps, some sort of suicidal tendency! Oh, and a lot of humility!
All this is just another unknown jazz drummer's opinion.
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