Thread: Tony Williams
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:00 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams - where to start?

JohnW, great call on Out To Lunch. Gazzelloni is another favorite of mine from that one.

Here's one I've been listening to on heavy rotation in the car lately, and it occurs to me that it has almost everything I love about Tony on full display.

There was something magical for me about that 1964-1965 period of Tony, especially the Blue Notes. He was very prolific during this time and he immediately hit the ground with innovation, taste and technique fully formed.

This was before he really started using the quarter note hi-hat pulse, the blushdas and the bigger drums. His ride cymbal playing on the uptempo numbers like The Eye of the Hurricane is epic. Tony was still using his left foot mostly for those little "and" notes or splashes and his bass drum still had that resonant, higher-pitched tone. But his playing on Dolphin Dance is Tony just playing an easy swing tempo with so much taste and no reliance on repetition or licks. Tony's solos are tasteful throughout.

I just think this is not only one of the greatest jazz recordings but also Tony at his absolute peak.

By 1966, I think his playing was already drastically different, as ridiculous as that sounds. And there was a whole other greatness in his playing during the next phase, but this one really resonates with me for some reason.

Here's The Eye of the Hurricane:
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