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  #201  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:39 PM
Mike Stand's Avatar
Mike Stand Mike Stand is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
I first heard Tony in the mid 1980s .....a friend played me a Lifetime record...I think it was Emergency!
I wasn't really into it at the time ...but I loved the drumming

I went on to seek out more of this guys playing and Boom!!....mind blown!

first I found Seven Steps To Heaven and lost it...I was obsessed

some of my favorite Tony recordings in case you have not heard them....please...PLEASE!!! check them out

Jackie McLean - Vertigo
Jackie Mclean - One Step Beyond (both of which he is 17 on......FIRE! )

Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch
Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles
Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure
Wayne Shorter - the Soothsayer
Kenny Dorham - Una Mas

funny story real quick

I was attending IAR in NYC around 1993 or '94
one rainy morning around 7:30 I was walking across 6th ave on my way to school and who walks past me crossing in the opposite direction and just about rubs shoulders with me wearing a full length leather trench coat, black leather gloves and a Kangol hat smoking a big thick cigar ?

Tony Williams

I became speechless and spun around as he passed and all that came out of my mouth was ....."Tony Williams!"....

he turned his head and smiled with the stogie in his mouth and gave a thumbs up never breaking stride ........I on the other hand got side swiped by a cab and fell on my ass in the middle of a wet 6th ave.

all worth it
That is more than just a funny little anecdote. An unexpected brush with Greatness must be a strange experience. The only time I've come close to someone of Tony's stature is when I've seen Wayne Shorter on stage, only a few metres away. But it still feels unreal.
To actually bump into such a person in a very mundane everyday situation, that must be quite a souvenir to have!

Thanks for the album tips. I already have several Blue Notes with Tony (W Shorter, J McLean, Grachan Moncur, Hancock, Tony's own albums) but the Dolphy/Hill stuff was still to far out for me.

I think it would take me several lifetimes to really comprehend what Tony was doing even at 17 years of age.
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  #202  
Old 02-09-2014, 04:43 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

I just stumbled across these awesome interviews with Mike Clark about Tony Williams. Highly recommended for Tony fanatics.

One really cool thing Clark mentions that I had no idea about was that Tony would practice playing quarter note unison strokes with all four limbs up to the fastest speed he could take them. After reading Ants' recounting Steve Smith talking about the value of that same exercise, I think we can safely say everyone should be doing it!

Part 1: http://youtu.be/Sroumdzu3c4
Part 2: http://youtu.be/UVztfbaT76s
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  #203  
Old 02-09-2014, 10:39 PM
WhoIsTony?'s Avatar
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Default Re: Tony Williams

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I just stumbled across these awesome interviews with Mike Clark about Tony Williams. Highly recommended for Tony fanatics.

One really cool thing Clark mentions that I had no idea about was that Tony would practice playing quarter note unison strokes with all four limbs up to the fastest speed he could take them. After reading Ants' recounting Steve Smith talking about the value of that same exercise, I think we can safely say everyone should be doing it!

Part 1: http://youtu.be/Sroumdzu3c4
Part 2: http://youtu.be/UVztfbaT76s
this is amazing.... I am in the middle of it and had to stop just to come say how F'n great it is

I was lucky enough to study with Mike for about a week while at MI in Los Angeles .... my teacher Fred Dinkins knew him very well and asked him to come down one day for his class we had where we would just sit in a circle and talk .... talk about the business, about gear, about whatever anyone brought up for about 3 to 5 hours or so .... it was an optional class.... no credits or anything .....so Fred asked Mike to sit in with us one day and he ended up coming everyday for a whole week... and that week was amazing

picking Mikes brain for a week about everything from tuning to Tony was something that left a lasting impression on me and I will never forget it for as long as I live
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  #204  
Old 02-10-2014, 09:30 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
this is amazing.... I am in the middle of it and had to stop just to come say how F'n great it is

I was lucky enough to study with Mike for about a week while at MI in Los Angeles .... my teacher Fred Dinkins knew him very well and asked him to come down one day for his class we had where we would just sit in a circle and talk .... talk about the business, about gear, about whatever anyone brought up for about 3 to 5 hours or so .... it was an optional class.... no credits or anything .....so Fred asked Mike to sit in with us one day and he ended up coming everyday for a whole week... and that week was amazing

picking Mikes brain for a week about everything from tuning to Tony was something that left a lasting impression on me and I will never forget it for as long as I live
My man! I knew you would dig this. I found it spellbinding. Mike just seems like a great cat. He did a clinic in my neck of the woods a couple years ago but it was a night I couldn't make it. I really regret that. That's amazing you had a chance to study with him. Seems like a no-bullsh** kind of guy, just speaks from the heart. I love that.

The stuff about Tony having something like a stirrup for his bass drum pedal... crazy!
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  #205  
Old 03-25-2014, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Tony Williams

For over 30 years, the track 'Fred' has been a part of the soundtrack of my life (thanks to Phil Collins.)

Was it ever documented anywhere as to what kit and cymbal set up he used to record it? Possibly a long shot, but I'd love to know.
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  #206  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:50 AM
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Pedro Benecol Pedro Benecol is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

There's a relatively bad sounding but musically incredibly powerful bootleg of the New Lifetime Band, from c. 1976 at the Village Gate. With A.H. on guitar, obviously. If you've listened to Believe It! and liked it, check it out. It's the same thing but on steroids!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuban View Post
For over 30 years, the track 'Fred' has been a part of the soundtrack of my life (thanks to Phil Collins.)
Phil Collins sure knows his drummers, is there a story behind this? :D That is, Phil being one of my early and biggest influences and Tony being a later idol with all the Joneses, Erskines and such. I really love Tony's imagination, chops, relentlessness and ride cymbal sound/clarity. However, the later jazz stuff and some of his aesthetic choices during the Yellow Drums -days are still over my head.

(BTW, here's something I did to One Finger Snap some time ago. I hope you like it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlwY8yW5fHE )
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  #207  
Old 03-26-2014, 11:04 AM
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Cuban Cuban is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Benecol View Post
Phil Collins sure knows his drummers, is there a story behind this? :D That is, Phil being one of my early and biggest influences and Tony being a later idol ...
I toured with Genesis & Phil in the early 1980's and Tony Williams was a regular played by Phil. His drumming was a big influence on Phil, who also introduced me ( as a young teenager ) to Pat Metheny and many other great artists.

Ironically, 30+ years on, I now work for Phil's son Simon Collins, an incredible drummer, singer, musician & producer in his own right. Check out his band Sound Of Contact, (we head out on tour on Friday). Talk about a chip off the old block!

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
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Last edited by Cuban; 03-26-2014 at 12:59 PM.
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  #208  
Old 03-26-2014, 01:19 PM
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Pedro Benecol Pedro Benecol is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuban View Post
I toured with Genesis & Phil in the early 1980's and Tony Williams was a regular played by Phil. His drumming was a big influence on Phil, who also introduced me ( as a young teenager ) to Pat Metheny and many other great artists.
Wow! Were you a drum tech or something? I'd love to hear some stories from the road, although I do have the "Chapter & Verse" -book as well as the Genesis studio albums.

Tony and Phil do both have that "push" and playing on top of the beat -style to them. Saw Genesis on the Turn it on Again -tour and even though I've always admired Chester Thompson (the Zappa stuff etc) as a drummer, the music really took 6th gear when Collins sat down on his kit.

Back to the topic, to whom it may concern, one might want to compare the studio version of Allan Holdsworths "Looking Glass" with Tony on drums, to selected live versions, my favourite being the Tampa Bay '89 -bootleg (can be found easily) where it's the almighty Vinnie C on drums. Although Vinnie kicks ass all the time (the version of Shallow Sea from that gig is the penultimate fusion ripping collaboration ever!), it's the studio version that IMHO packs the most Cojones and dauntless risk-taking stuff, with most of it landing on its feet in the process :D
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  #209  
Old 03-26-2014, 04:05 PM
WhoIsTony?'s Avatar
WhoIsTony? WhoIsTony? is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuban View Post
I toured with Genesis & Phil in the early 1980's and Tony Williams was a regular played by Phil. His drumming was a big influence on Phil, who also introduced me ( as a young teenager ) to Pat Metheny and many other great artists.

Ironically, 30+ years on, I now work for Phil's son Simon Collins, an incredible drummer, singer, musician & producer in his own right. Check out his band Sound Of Contact, (we head out on tour on Friday). Talk about a chip off the old block!

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
very cool

would love to hear stories sometime
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  #210  
Old 03-27-2014, 01:23 AM
AllenS AllenS is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

IMO, he's one of the most important drummers of all time. A prodigy, an innovator, and truly ahead of his time.
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  #211  
Old 03-29-2014, 10:15 AM
drmfd drmfd is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Great to meet up here with fellow TW enthusiasts. Cuban has a question that also wondered me since Believe It was issued. Possibly finding/contacting TW's drum tech at the time could have best answer now, or a family member or more replies here. Don't know contacts for these individuals, but the super engineer & producer Sony/Columbia used on Believe It was Bruce Botnick who really eq'd and captured terrific drum tuning. Fred was also later re-cut by Holdsworth titling song as Kinder. Tony played hihats like no one else, I saw him live many times years ago. Not sure of exact drum/cymbal set up the studio used in recording Believe It, but TW played a particular set configuration at that time with various cymbal combinations. This is info I gathered directly from Gretsch & Zildjian artist relations over the years, so I will pass it along. I hope some of this info helps.
Gretsch USA Custom series drums Solid Yellow Gloss Nitro cellulose gloss Lacquer finish - currently termed TWYL code SPL #69 color finish. Sizes: BD 14 x 24 or at times 16 x 24. SD 6 1/2 x 14 with 20 single lugs and 42 strand wires. TT 9 x 13 and 10 x 14. FT 14 x 14, 16 x 16 and 16 x 18. Silver sealed interiors, chrome shell hardware, occasionally black hardware on drum shells. Up to the 1980's when Gretsch supplied their own stands, he used SD stand #4989, TT Holder #9002, HH #4849, BD Spurs #9011, Cymbal stands #4850 and 4871. The actual SD was #4155. I haven't searched the vintage catalogs to verify these hardware #'s, so I hope the info I was given is correct. Thru the 1970's up into 1980's I saw Tony's kits with different series of Gretsch hardware lines - the TT holders, stands, etc.- usually the top line Gretsch gear live. At times he had drum shell black hardware, but almost always chrome on sets he used. He used clear CS black dot heads on both batter and resonant sides of all drums except the snare-side head, that contributed greatly to his sound with the USA Customs. He had his own stick size made for him, an autographed model at some point, among other similar sticks I'm sure. Now, the elusive and interesting cymbal line-ups...
Tony switched out lots of cymbals for what he felt at the time was right. These are (3) cymbal set-ups he used in later periods, but it may provide some insight into his signature sound and likes.
First set-up - Ride 22 A Custom, Ride 18 K dry-lite. Crash 18 Med-thin (I think A there, but maybe K), Crash 18 A unspecified, Crash 15 A Custom. HH 15 K both bottom cymbals. Splash 8 A and Splash 10 A.
Second set-up - 1994 - Ride 22 K. Crash 20 K Dark, Crash 18 K Dark-med-thin, Crash 15 K Dark. HH 15 K. And, lastly, a variant of these two set-ups ...
Third set-up - Ride 22 A Custom. Crash 18 A Med, Crash 18 A Med-thin, Crash 18 K Dark-thin, Crash 15 A Custom. HH 15 K. Splash 8 A and Splash 10 A.
That's what I've found out, maybe some of this can help and hope it does. TW fans may want to add to this and supply other cymbal set-ups he used in eras closer to the 1975 recording, which is tuff data to find this far along. This info here was obtained from Gretsch and Zildjian.
Frank D.
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  #212  
Old 03-30-2014, 07:26 AM
drmfd drmfd is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Cuban, I just sent a pm to you regarding your question info , Frank D.
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  #213  
Old 03-30-2014, 07:37 AM
drmfd drmfd is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Additional info to my post #211...the 3rd listed cymbal set-up was in 1997, shortly before Tony Williams was gone too soon. Sorry I originally forgot to enter the year for that set-up.
The first cymbal set-up was prior to 1994, but not sure what date there or how long before that. Being that there were A Customs in that set-up, it was TW's later period there, maybe others here can pin the beginning of that date range down better, based on entry of A Customs into the market.
Would like to learn of TW's specific cymbal set-up from 1974 onward to any dates.
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  #214  
Old 03-30-2014, 03:03 PM
WhoIsTony?'s Avatar
WhoIsTony? WhoIsTony? is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

great info drmfd

a close friend who is a drummer but works mostly as a bass player played bass with Wallace Roney probably a decade ago

while at Wallaces house one night a conversation about Tony came up and Wallace mentioned that he had a some of Tonys old Ks from the Miles and Lifetime era that Tony had given him.

he got to see these cymbals and tap on a few of them

he said that most were cracked along the bell and all of them were key holed .... but the ones that were not cracked he was able to tap on with a stick.

what was interesting to me was that he said none of them sounded particularly good at all and if he were picking through a pile of cymbals he would most likely had thrown them aside.

he mentioned that one of them had a particularly flat profile and had a prominent worn spot right in the center band and by the stamp he could tell that it was late 50s or early 60s.....he said that one had a very unique sound and was a bit more dry than the rest with unusually complex overtones for an old K .... seemed to be one that Tony loved judging by the worn spot.

Wallace had said that no one owned them but Tony and him

now I was not there to hear these cymbals but this guy knows what he is talking about and is a vintage gear fanatic.
he even owns some of Elvins old cymbals that he got from Don Bennett .... those are something else .

... anyway this just proved to me that it's not the cymbal it's who is holding the stick

Tony could hit a trash can lid and make it sing
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  #215  
Old 03-30-2014, 03:54 PM
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Canyonero Canyonero is offline
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Default Re: Tony Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmfd View Post
Additional info to my post #211...the 3rd listed cymbal set-up was in 1997, shortly before Tony Williams was gone too soon. Sorry I originally forgot to enter the year for that set-up.
The first cymbal set-up was prior to 1994, but not sure what date there or how long before that. Being that there were A Customs in that set-up, it was TW's later period there, maybe others here can pin the beginning of that date range down better, based on entry of A Customs into the market.
Would like to learn of TW's specific cymbal set-up from 1974 onward to any dates.
The Zildjian A Custom line was introduced at the January 1992 NAMM gathering.

In 1990, Zildjian ran an ad in which Tony used 15" K Hihats, 18", 15" and 20" K Dark Crashes, and a 22" K Ride. It looks like he used this set-up on the Tony Williams Live In New York DVD (Dec 1989).

I guess Tony played old Turkish K cymbals up until Zildjian started making American K cymbals in 81/82.
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