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  #1  
Old 03-19-2011, 07:49 AM
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Default Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

I've been getting back into this group because there is just so much to hear. Then I thought it would be cool to share this seeing as how there has been no DW mention aside from a gear thread question about drum sound. To me this is Tony Williams' greatest post Miles playing and proof positive that sometimes yes ...it's good to have the chops for many reasons including musical.

The Trio of Doom was basically an all star band thrown together for the Havana Music Festival in 1979. They were an improvisational electric band with this lineup:

John McLaughlin, guitar
Jaco Pastorius, bass
Tony Williams, drums

This is their studio cut of Dark Prince It's the first track (or the first 4 and a half minutes) and is all I'm really suggesting you hear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfFmT...-nC9WN679BqqEd

Tony = wow, huh?

Now here is the live recording of that same tune everyone is always interested in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcMKW...B5983FD17DB157

There was sheer hatred going on at this gig and it was directed entirely towards Jaco who completely went off the page and started doing his own thing, forcing the other two to go along with the spontaniety. But omg, just listen to how Tony Williams plays angry. This also demonstrates why so many see TW as the extra step beyond. I mean you can have heroes and personal favorites... but...this is just something else entirely.

Before their release in 2007 John McLaughlin spent years trying to keep these recordings away from the general public, considereing the entire Trio of Doom project a debacle, especially the live show. Afterwards neither McLaughlin or Williams would have anything to do with Jaco because they felt he no longer was interested in being tight with a group and in general had pretty much lost his ability to deal with people. And when you listen to some of the other tracks like Para oriente, you can sense what JM's talking about. But wow how great this could have been had the run been longer.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

Videos say malformed, Matt.

In defence of Jaco, ( and I will defend him on this till my last breath ) bipolar mania is a medical condition and a sickness that he suffered from which was largely responsible for his 'crazy' reputation.

That said, McLaughlin thought so as well and the gig was pretty badly sabotaged, is what I hear. They kinda blew up on the first tune. Not sure if they played anything else after Jaco did a 'Hendrix' to JM's tune. I also hear Tony was beyond mad. Way beyond! : )

ML has a historic fascination for this kind of phrasing on fast uptempo tunes and its interesting to see the development of Dark Prince as and idea back then and compare that to a tune called Raju on his 2009 album floating point. ( My friend Ranjit Barot, who plays drums on that, very interestingly has been termed as the 'most exciting thing on drums since Tony Williams' by Bill Milowski )


...

Last edited by aydee; 03-19-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Videos say malformed, Matt.

In defence of Jaco, ( and I will defend him on this till my last breath ) bipolar mania is a medical condition and a sickness that he suffered from which was largely responsible for his 'crazy' reputation.

That said, McLaughlin thought so as well and the gig was pretty badly sabotaged, is what I hear. They kinda blew up on the first tune. Not sure if they played anything else after Jaco did a 'Hendrix' to JM's tune. I also hear Tony was beyond mad. Way beyond! : )

ML has a historic fascination for this kind of phrasing on fast uptempo tunes and its interesting to see the development of Dark Prince as and idea back then and compare that to a tune called Raju on his 2009 album floating point. ( My friend Ranjit Barot, who plays drums on that, very interestingly has been termed as the 'most exciting thing on drums since Tony Williams' by Bill Milowski )

...
Sorry Abe...try these. I'm pulling these up with no trouble. If there is another upload problem I hope guys will go to youtube and just find these because Tony is just so incredible on them.

STUDIO CUT... www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfFmTefVGg8

CONTROVERSIAL LIVE VERSION...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcMKW...B5983FD17DB157

As for Jaco...I think anyone would agree that he had a mental illness. Still anyone can understand you being upset about having a major gig screwed up on purpose.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

Bloody techno glitches! I can hear the studio version, but the live one comes up as "not available in your country". Anyhow, yet again I find myself totally out of my depth. My only contribution is to observe how surprised I am by the power in the drumming. No pissing around the bush here! Just full on getting down & dirty. The skill level & phrasing is mind blowingly tasty. Guess I won't be covering that tune anytime soon, lol!
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:13 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

I like the bit of "sanity" that arrives around 4:20--very nice contrast to the opening.

Like Andy, I cannot view the live recording--not available in the U.S. or U.K. Alas...

I have the Trio Beyond CD from 2004, which is supposed to be a tribute to Tony Williams and perhaps the legacy of Trio of Doom. It has DeJohnette on drums, Scofield on guitar, and Goldings on organ. Very cool live performance.

Matt: Can you download the Doom live clip (pretty easy to do in Safari or with other sites) you are able to view and reload on your own web site as a .mov file or something, so we can all watch it and talk about it?

I wonder if McLaughlin worked with Sony to ban the clip, or if it is just run-of-the-mill corporate blockage.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

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Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
To me this is Tony Williams' greatest post Miles playing and proof positive that sometimes yes ...it's good to have the chops for many reasons including musical.
While I agree with the chops part I also like Emergency and Turn it over very very much post Miles. Interestingly I didn't know about the issues behind this lineup and live performance but I always thought there was something exactly like this going on when I listened to it. It's all there in their playing. And I don't know, it's very hard for me to imagine how one would be able to communicate such emotions Tony is having with anything less than the chops he has. I'm yet to be proven wrong on this matter. IMO when it comes to intense emotional playing Tony is ways beyond anyone else. And yes, I'm a fan. =)
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

You can see the massive influence TW was on Vinnie from the solo on "Are You the One". That opening syncopated attack on the snare and bass sounds exactly like something Vinnie would do.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

This is from a 2004 McLaughlin with Jaco biographer and jazz journalist Bill Milkowski:Again what amazes me about the Dark Prince especially was the intense anger that was going on not only during the live show but in the studio recordings that were done later. Then before the session is even over TW pulls a Keith Moon and destroys his drumkit.

I'm pretty sure I cleaned up the expletives.

McLaughlin: (laughs) Yes indeed, the Trio of Doom. That trio was unbelievable. It was amazing. When they were on it was unbelievable to play with those guys. Anyway, rehearsals were phenomenal. We had only three tunes that we were going to play (at the historic Havana Jam in Cuba). So we went down to Havana and we had a tune each. We started off with my tune, "The Dark Prince," which was a kind of blues in Cminor with some altered changes. But the thing is, Jaco altered everything. He turned his amp up to 11 and started to play A major, which is like a little far away from C minor...and unbelievably loud! So we start to play the tune, Tony's looking at me, I'm looking at Tony and it's like, "What the ****'" And in the meantime Jaco's upfront with the bass between his legs, doing his thing...it was almost like Jimi Hendrix. And the whole set went like that. When we finished the set, I was so angry at Jaco. Tony too. And we walked off stage and Tony was already up and running to the bathroom...he was about to throw up. Anyway, Jaco came down and said, "Oh, man, you bad mother!" And I said, "What' You have the nerve to speak to me after this travesty on stage. I don't even want to see your face, I don't want to hear you, I don't want to see you." And it all came out, and in about 15 minutes later it was fine. But Tony couldn't get it out, right' And it was such a farce. Anyway, CBS called me about two weeks later and said, "So, we're going to put it out." And I said, "You're going to put what out' You're not going to put that out. You put it out over my dead body. That's terrible." So they asked if we wanted to re-record it over at Columbia Studios on 52nd Street. So we all went into the great CBS Studio on 52nd Street where we did all those great things with Miles -- In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew and all of that. So we start re-recording the tunes and in the meantime, Tony's not looking at Jaco. I mean, forget about speaking, he's not even looking at him. And Jaco's already very nervous. So we start playing and we did my tune again. So we do one take and we go in the control room to listen back and Jaco says, "Well, I think we can do it better." And all of a sudden Tony jumps in front of Jaco and says, "Better' Better, mother******'!!" He pushed Jaco up against the wall. I had never seen Tony angry but that was like a little volcano action, man, I tell you. And Jaco's like..."Hey man, I'm sorry, man, I'm sorry." Tony didn't hit 'em or anything, but when Tony got mad you just get out of the way. He had Jaco up against the wall and Jaco was like apologizing profusely. He knew he ****ed up bigtime. So after 10 minutes of Tony blasting him with both barrels, Tony went into the studio and destroyed his drumkit. (laughter). And I said, "You gotta record with this!" He destroyed his kit and walked out of the studio and that was it. What a shame. But hey, who's perfect in this world' But I told Jaco off right away back in Havana. I got rid of all the rats and snakes right off the stage, but Tony had it balling up, stewing around there for a while for he finally exploded. He always had difficulty with getting it right out. So yeah...Jaco was crazy, but what a player! He was too much. Boy I miss him. I miss Tony too. What a tragedy.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

Thanks for posting, Matt. Hard to imagine a trio of more outstanding players. Like Andy, I don't understand Tony's poly's and choices but I can at least enjoy all that juice and sweet drum sound.

Dark Prince brought back memories, when I saw John Mc's One Truth Band play Dark Prince when they came out to Oz many moons ago. Tony Smith on drums, someone not talked about much but he and Fernando Saunders were another killer rhythm section; both had an incredible sound.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

I have the trio of doom album on my iPod. I always wondered why Jaco's playing sounded so "out there" and sometimes sloppy, now I know why.
Tony Williams drumming is awesome on this album. Seems like he's imagining Jaco's face on the skins, and trying to beat the everliving daylight out of them.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:35 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
This is from a 2004 McLaughlin with Jaco biographer and jazz journalist Bill Milkowski:Again what amazes me about the Dark Prince especially was the intense anger that was going on not only during the live show but in the studio recordings that were done later. Then before the session is even over TW pulls a Keith Moon and destroys his drumkit.

I'm pretty sure I cleaned up the expletives.

McLaughlin: (laughs) Yes indeed, the Trio of Doom. That trio was unbelievable. It was amazing. When they were on it was unbelievable to play with those guys. Anyway, rehearsals were phenomenal. We had only three tunes that we were going to play (at the historic Havana Jam in Cuba). So we went down to Havana and we had a tune each. We started off with my tune, "The Dark Prince," which was a kind of blues in Cminor with some altered changes. But the thing is, Jaco altered everything. He turned his amp up to 11 and started to play A major, which is like a little far away from C minor...and unbelievably loud! So we start to play the tune, Tony's looking at me, I'm looking at Tony and it's like, "What the ****'" And in the meantime Jaco's upfront with the bass between his legs, doing his thing...it was almost like Jimi Hendrix. And the whole set went like that. When we finished the set, I was so angry at Jaco. Tony too. And we walked off stage and Tony was already up and running to the bathroom...he was about to throw up. Anyway, Jaco came down and said, "Oh, man, you bad mother!" And I said, "What' You have the nerve to speak to me after this travesty on stage. I don't even want to see your face, I don't want to hear you, I don't want to see you." And it all came out, and in about 15 minutes later it was fine. But Tony couldn't get it out, right' And it was such a farce. Anyway, CBS called me about two weeks later and said, "So, we're going to put it out." And I said, "You're going to put what out' You're not going to put that out. You put it out over my dead body. That's terrible." So they asked if we wanted to re-record it over at Columbia Studios on 52nd Street. So we all went into the great CBS Studio on 52nd Street where we did all those great things with Miles -- In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew and all of that. So we start re-recording the tunes and in the meantime, Tony's not looking at Jaco. I mean, forget about speaking, he's not even looking at him. And Jaco's already very nervous. So we start playing and we did my tune again. So we do one take and we go in the control room to listen back and Jaco says, "Well, I think we can do it better." And all of a sudden Tony jumps in front of Jaco and says, "Better' Better, mother******'!!" He pushed Jaco up against the wall. I had never seen Tony angry but that was like a little volcano action, man, I tell you. And Jaco's like..."Hey man, I'm sorry, man, I'm sorry." Tony didn't hit 'em or anything, but when Tony got mad you just get out of the way. He had Jaco up against the wall and Jaco was like apologizing profusely. He knew he ****ed up bigtime. So after 10 minutes of Tony blasting him with both barrels, Tony went into the studio and destroyed his drumkit. (laughter). And I said, "You gotta record with this!" He destroyed his kit and walked out of the studio and that was it. What a shame. But hey, who's perfect in this world' But I told Jaco off right away back in Havana. I got rid of all the rats and snakes right off the stage, but Tony had it balling up, stewing around there for a while for he finally exploded. He always had difficulty with getting it right out. So yeah...Jaco was crazy, but what a player! He was too much. Boy I miss him. I miss Tony too. What a tragedy.
Wow, I had heard it was bad but this looks like a train wreck! ML's known to have a huge ego as well so even the rats and snakes bit must have been something.. and Tony pinning Jaco to the wall..!!? someone should make a movie.

His condition was really bad at the time.

Back then I remember put down some serious coin that I couldn't afford to hear him at the Blue Note with Hiram Bullock and Michael Breaker.

Come showtime there was 15 minutes of pure, unadulterated hi decibal feedback to a stunned and shocked audience. That was it. He walked off stage, the band sheepishly followed a couple of minutes later.
The MC apologized and announcing the next show timing and announced that our tickets were good for that show.

This was the Blue Note. One more of the many crash n' burn stories of this music.

Tragic.

..
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

I can't open the YouTube link, either, but is this the same version?

http://www.vidoevo.com/yvideo.php?i=...k-prince-live=

Tony is certainly playing with fire!

Don't even get me started on Tony. Tony was everything to me. The best part is, listen to this stuff and then go back and check out his playing on the early Blue Notes; it's unrecognizable. Tony changed jazz and jazz drumming more than once. He developed at such a crazy, accelerated rate. It was like the drumming equivalent of The Beatles and the transformations they went through in just a few years. He was 17 years old playing with Miles and already had developed a new vocabulary for the instrument. Then, a few years later, he's laying new ground for the creation of fusion.

Tony would be in the jazz drumming hall of fame for his work in 1964 alone. That angular, syncopated style on the Four And More/My Funny Valentine recording was the game-changer for me. By 1966, he had already changed things up. The four-on-the-floor hi-hat stuff was creeping in on Miles Smiles. By the late 60s he was playing fusion and had developed a whole new approach with Lifetime. The huge drums and drum sound came in the 70s and 80s. The flamming, triplet stuff he would do between cymbals and drums. He was always evolving. Not to mention his development as a composer.

Yeah, Tony was it for me. There's never been anyone who has left an impression on me quite as large as him. I have to admit, I haven't given Trio Of Doom enough listening. That's going to change now. This stuff is amazing to hear. Thanks for posting it and drawing attention to this interesting drama, Matt. Tony angry is something else indeed!
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I can't open the YouTube link, either, but is this the same version?

http://www.vidoevo.com/yvideo.php?i=...k-prince-live=

Tony is certainly playing with fire!

Don't even get me started on Tony. Tony was everything to me. The best part is, listen to this stuff and then go back and check out his playing on the early Blue Notes; it's unrecognizable. Tony changed jazz and jazz drumming more than once. He developed at such a crazy, accelerated rate. It was like the drumming equivalent of The Beatles and the transformations they went through in just a few years. He was 17 years old playing with Miles and already had developed a new vocabulary for the instrument. Then, a few years later, he's laying new ground for the creation of fusion.

Tony would be in the jazz drumming hall of fame for his work in 1964 alone. That angular, syncopated style on the Four And More/My Funny Valentine recording was the game-changer for me. By 1966, he had already changed things up. The four-on-the-floor hi-hat stuff was creeping in on Miles Smiles. By the late 60s he was playing fusion and had developed a whole new approach with Lifetime. The huge drums and drum sound came in the 70s and 80s. The flamming, triplet stuff he would do between cymbals and drums. He was always evolving. Not to mention his development as a composer.

Yeah, Tony was it for me. There's never been anyone who has left an impression on me quite as large as him. I have to admit, I haven't given Trio Of Doom enough listening. That's going to change now. This stuff is amazing to hear. Thanks for posting it and drawing attention to this interesting drama, Matt. Tony angry is something else indeed!
YES !! thanks for finding this...sick, sick stuff going on.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:32 AM
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Terry Branam Terry Branam is offline
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Default Re: Examining Tony Williams and Trio of Doom

Yes, I have a lot of fun listening to the Trio of Doom recordings. Very interesting indeed. Great post 8Mile!

I did a Style and Analysis piece for Modern Drummer mag on some incredible footage of Tony with Miles' band that can also be found here:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/t...amsdavis1.html

Check out the vids and see some seriously incredible stuff. You'll witness the evolution of modern jazz playing in front of your own eyes!

The piece ran in the May 2010 issue for those interested.

Terry
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