Tony Williams

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Tony in my opinion is by far the best jazz drummer who ever lived....
although many people may say that "yes he was good but he wasnt the best there was".....i can see what your saying but for me he was the best

people like evlin jones and art bakely would be seen as masters...but "especially in elvins case" i just couldnt get a grip on hios seeamingly random playing....
it was so skillful and it was in time but he did so many mini solo's and fills that it was impossible to keep up!

tony's music just seemed to make sense......i really can't find the words to describe it....he was almost able to explain what he was doing while playing the actual piece....he was brilliant at what he did..
does anyone else have any comments on him??

R.I.P Tony
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Tony is one of my all time favorites always has been but so have Elvin and Art too by the way.

Sounds to me like you need more time to get and understand Elvin from a jazz related conceptual point of view to get a better handle on what's going on in the context of the music and Elvin's contribution to it. Nothing random about Elvin's playing since his musical intent was very clear. Just a matter of understanding the deep concept{s} behind it
 

aydee

Platinum Member
can see what your saying but for me he was the best
I don't really know what best means in music, but people seem to have a need to place great musicians in some kind of sequential histological perspective .

Tony Williams was a game changer. He took from what came before him and changed some of it forever, and then passed it on. The is the hallmark of greatness in my opinion. He was a great player. As was Elvin, and as is Jack DeJohnette.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Tony is one of my all time favorites always has been but so have Elvin and Art too by the way.

Sounds to me like you need more time to get and understand Elvin from a jazz related conceptual point of view to get a better handle on what's going on in the context of the music and Elvin's contribution to it. Nothing random about Elvin's playing since his musical intent was very clear. Just a matter of understanding the deep concept{s} behind it
i spose ill get it after a while....im only 16 so....i do see that elvin is class
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
I don't really know what best means in music, but people seem to have a need to place great musicians in some kind of sequential histological perspective .

Tony Williams was a game changer. He took from what came before him and changed some of it forever, and then passed it on. The is the hallmark of greatness in my opinion. He was a great player. As was Elvin, and as is Jack DeJohnette.
Before Tony, playing loudly like he did in jazz was taboo. Sure Elvin and Buddy would have the occasional accent, but never really hit the drums wide open like Tony.

When I heard Tony play "Sister Cheryl" for the 1st time, I had to re-adjust my thinking about how jazz could be played in a modern sense.

And his screaming yellow kit was iconic.

Here is some Tony gettin' it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzkZ8Ikr9L4
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Before Tony, playing loudly like he did in jazz was taboo. Sure Elvin and Buddy would have the occasional accent, but never really hit the drums wide open like Tony.

When I heard Tony play "Sister Cheryl" for the 1st time, I had to re-adjust my thinking about how jazz could be played in a modern sense.

And his screaming yellow kit was iconic.

Here is some Tony gettin' it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzkZ8Ikr9L4
Sorry again not true. Elvin and Buddy both played HARD on wide open tuned drums. When I saw Buddy live several times his sound filled the entire room acoustically all the way to the back when he really dug in. Sure Tony played hard but he was not the first. Ever heard of Art Blakey in regards to pre-Tony jazz heavy hitters on wide open tuned drums?

Elvin in particular really played with a very high degree of physical intent at times during his years with Coltrane and the many years to follow. Do your homework on the subject if you don't believe me:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/elvinjoneszach.html
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Sorry again not true. Elvin and Buddy both played HARD on wide open tuned drums. When I saw Buddy live several times his sound filled the entire room acoustically all the way to the back when he really dug in. Sure Tony played hard but he was not the first. Ever heard of Art Blakey in regards to pre-Tony jazz heavy hitters on wide open tuned drums?

Elvin in particular really played with a very high degree of physical intent at times during his years with Coltrane and the many years to follow. Do your homework on the subject if you don't believe me:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/elvinjoneszach.html
i respect that.....he is right....if you ever listen to a lot of buddy's playing with big bands..
the band are blazing out the music and buddy manages to be heard clearly.....buddy played especially loud

and he encorporated a lot of roll sort of strokes which made it louder again!

does anyone know any sites that i could get my hands on transcripts from music that tony palyed??
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
You're new here, so I 'll let you know that when it comes to jazz drumming, you don't mess with The Man, Stan the Man that is.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
You're new here, so I 'll let you know that when it comes to jazz drumming, you don't mess with The Man, Stan the Man that is.
but then again, im not new to jazz...
and i was agreeing with him......its a good point, elvin is credited with inventing the hard hit....but many before him used it
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
but then again, im not new to jazz...
and i was agreeing with him......its a good point, elvin is credited with inventing the hard hit....but many before him used it
Which is fine. I just wanted to let you know that Stan is a real resource when it comes to jazz drumming. So take the opportunity to learn from him. :)
 
J

jay norem

Guest
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.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
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.
I never said once I was the one authority on the subject only someone who likes to see jazz related info properly presented with some truth related to the people who love and honor those who came before and what they offered to the music and the core of what is jazz music. What I am is a hardcore jazz player without any sense of compromise over more years than I can remember at this point who has kept the music alive and honest in his own small way because that's my life's blood. My goal is to keep the music real and true and get people interested in really liking jazz not just saying I sort of like and play jazz with a "thin" understanding of it's make up. Once you truly really like it and dig deep into it then and only then does it become true and the fruits of your labour feel real just like playing any other music you care to play.

Tony kept it very real to the end so did many others before him and after him regarding the knowns and the unknowns.who simply love playing the music without compromise.
 
J

jay norem

Guest
I never said once I was the one authority on the subject only someone who likes to see jazz related info properly presented with some truth related to the people who love and honor those who came before and what they offered to the music and the core of what is jazz music. What I am is a hardcore jazz player without any sense of compromise over more years than I can remember at this point who has kept the music alive and honest in his own small way because that's my life's blood. My goal is to keep the music real and true and get people interested in really liking jazz not just saying I sort of like and play jazz with a "thin" understanding of it's make up. Once you truly really like it and dig deep into it then and only then does it become true and the fruits of your labour feel real just like playing any other music you care to play.

Tony kept it very real to the end so did many others before him and after him regarding the knowns and the unknowns.who simply love playing the music without compromise.
Oh, give it a rest, Stan. Just play, and be a friend to the youngsters who are trying. Jazz isn't so harsh.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Oh, give it a rest, Stan. Just play, and be a friend to the youngsters who are trying. Jazz isn't so harsh.
I'm being straight up front Jay and honest with no malice intended to anyone young or old with my point of view. You love the music or you don't which shows at the end of the day in your jazz playing which was the point I was trying to make and get across. As a educator and a professional jazz player I'm trying to get young players to REALLY like jazz. That my friend is a hard road in todays world i've discovered in alot of cases. How many young students say they play jazz but NEVER listen to it or really like the music. Let's try and change that for ALL involved to keep the music we call jazz real.
 
J

jay norem

Guest
The jazz road is an impossible road these days. How many jazz players are even making a living playing the music? I myself have succumbed to the bitterness that a lot of jazz musicians seem to share these days, but enough of that, I say.
Yes, I love the music, but I can't implant that love into anyone else. People have to find their own ways into this music. Giving them history lessons isn't going to help at all.
I want young people to take up this music so they can maybe teach me something. You and I, we're the old generation, let's face it. I don't want to be a historian, I just want to play something genuine, and to do that I don't need to know the history of the hi-hat or who the first person was to keep time on the ride cymbal. I need some honest energy. More playing and less thinking about it all.
Nobody will ever like something that carries arbitrary qualifying conditions with it. You don't really have to do or be anything to be a jazz musician, all you have to do is make the music your own, and we both know that there are a lot of ways to do that, and this is what needs to be encouraged for this music to keep going.
Peace to you, my jazz drumming brother.
 
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Steamer

Platinum Member
The jazz road is an impossible road these days. How many jazz players are even making a living playing the music? I myself have succumbed to the bitterness that a lot of jazz musicians seem to share these days, but enough of that, I say.
Yes, I love the music, but I can't implant that love into anyone else. People have to find their own ways into this music. Giving them history lessons isn't going to help at all.
I want young people to take up this music so they can maybe teach me something. You and I, we're the old generation, let's face it.

Don't quite agree Jay. I'm still up on what's happening today since I hang and play with some of the youngbloods on the scene but still believe in setting a firm foundation or root in jazz knowledge for having any success later on or having "depth" to ones playing regardless of concept. Not bitter at all still love playing very much and always learning especially regarding the input I see coming from young shakers coming up within the music on the scene.

The future we spring from the past and we'll all be blessed by the result but you have to build the house on a good solid foundation to start with.
 
J

jay norem

Guest
but still believe in setting a firm foundation or root in jazz knowledge for having any success later on or having "depth" to ones playing regardless of concept.
Yes, certainly that's one way to go about it, but it just can't be the only way. When I started out I didn't know shit. I owned maybe three jazz records. But I knew what I wanted to do and I threw myself into the fray, into the clubs, and it was there that I got my education. There are still huge gaps in my knowledge of the whole fabric of jazz, but what little I know about it is what I do, see, that's my little stain on the fabric.
I have no idea how Chick Webb played the drums, nor do I think it's important. I do not have a firm foundation or root in jazz knowledge. I do what I do and that's all, that's it. I don't know if my playing has any depth. I really don't think about. I do okay, I guess. But if I was ever going to be a great jazz drummer, I would be one by now, and I'm not. I'm just okay, some seem to think I'm quite good, but really, I'm just okay, which is cool with me!
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Yes, certainly that's one way to go about it, but it just can't be the only way. When I started out I didn't know shit. I owned maybe three jazz records. But I knew what I wanted to do and I threw myself into the fray, into the clubs, and it was there that I got my education. There are still huge gaps in my knowledge of the whole fabric of jazz, but what little I know about it is what I do, see, that's my little stain on the fabric.
I have no idea how Chick Webb played the drums, nor do I think it's important. I do not have a firm foundation or root in jazz knowledge. I do what I do and that's all, that's it. I don't know if my playing has any depth. I really don't think about. I do okay, I guess. But if I was ever going to be a great jazz drummer, I would be one by now, and I'm not. I'm just okay, some seem to think I'm quite good, but really, I'm just okay, which is cool with me!
I started out Jay at 18 playing jazz with older jazz players who gave my my jazz education on the bandstand in local clubs in my old home town. It wasn't always pretty at times but I desired to take my shots live on the spot on stage in front of people, lick my wounds and learn from them because I heard something I liked within the music they played that I wanted to learn and play and make sound "real" for me like my jazz mentors around me were doing at the time.

This is where the older jazz players show their worth {past and present} with their aquired experience/wisdom and depth of playing on the subject regardless of where the next generation wants to take it from there. Same applies today except the jam session scene mixing jazz veterans and up and coming young players is most part is gone from the jazz scene. Different jazz world today indeed....

Hey if you have a concept and stick with it great Jay. Everytime I travel every town has some very talented complete unknowns who do it because they simply love it regardless of what is envisioned "big" success.
 
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