Tony Williams

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Re: Tony Williams - where to start?

I would strongly urge you to check out the Miles Davis The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine + Four & More. This recording changed my life as a drummer.

+1 - An Absolute Must!!! So much of that early Blue Note as already said.

More recent one's that can be found (perhaps not so easily) is "Tokyo Live". Wallace Roney is on it.

A couple others would be Story of Neptune and Young At Heart.
 

Cuban

Senior Member

8Mile

Platinum Member
1964 was an incredible year for Tony. He was like 18 years old when he recorded most of this music, but it remains my favorite period for his playing (along with the adjacent years 1963 and 1965). Look at the seminal records he made that were released in this one year alone:

Tony Williams - Lifetime
Miles Davis - Four & More + My Funny Valentine
Miles Davis - Miles In Tokyo
Miles Davis - Miles In Berlin
Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch
Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles
Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure
Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff
Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song

I mean, these are some of the most important jazz records of all time. And this young genius comes around and accomplishes all this in one year. My goodness.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
1964 was an incredible year for Tony. He was like 18 years old when he recorded most of this music, but it remains my favorite period for his playing (along with the adjacent years 1963 and 1965). Look at the seminal records he made that were released in this one year alone:

Tony Williams - Lifetime
Miles Davis - Four & More + My Funny Valentine
Miles Davis - Miles In Tokyo
Miles Davis - Miles In Berlin
Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch
Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles
Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure
Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff
Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song

I mean, these are some of the most important jazz records of all time. And this young genius comes around and accomplishes all this in one year. My goodness.
1964 was a magical year for post-bop in general. Wayne Shorter put out Speak No Evil with Elvin that year!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
1964 was a magical year for post-bop in general. Wayne Shorter put out Speak No Evil with Elvin that year!
This is true.

What I marvel about is how Tony's playing had already changed by two years later. His approach on Miles Smiles, released in 1966, is almost unrecognizable to the Blue Notes. He had started the quarter note pulse on the hi-hats and his sound changed considerably.
 

matthughen

Junior Member
Wow - thank you!
Any more of this show? One of my favorite groupings.
I have uploaded the whole show at DIME recently so it is still very well seeded:
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=413507

A Spanish TV broadcast of The Tony Williams Quintet performing at the Andorra Jazz Festival on July 15, 1988. There are a dozen or so skip-like glitches most of which occur during 24-27 minute portion and a few scattered others. The video is washy and generated but essentially enjoyable and very watchable. If you have an upgrade, what are you waiting for? This performance is new to DIME AFAIK.

Duration: 0:48:37
Data Size: 1.94 GB
Bit Rate: 5.71 Mbps

Video Tracks:
224 MPEG-2, 720 × 576, 4:3, 25 fps, 7.00 Mbps, lower field first

Audio Tracks:
160 PCM stereo, 48 kHz, 1.54 Mbps

solo
Red Mask
Ancient Eyes
solo
Geo Rose
solo
Civilzation
Life of the Party

Tony Williams - Drums
Billy Pierce - Tenor Saxophone
Wallace Roney - Trumpet
Mulgrew Miller - Grand Piano
Bob Hurst - Double Bass

Upped at DIME by Matt Hughen.
 

Timothy Burt

Junior Member
FIRST, I have been absolutely dismayed that with ALL the INCREDIBLE, HIGHLY connected, influential musicians Tony played with, NOT ONE could produce a tribute to him.
WHAT A JAM SESSION THAT WOULD BE! Why hasn't this happened? I heard his widow was sitting on the rights to everything. Is that it? HELP! ANYONE?
Also, does anyone know if there's video footage of the live version of OPEN FIRE from the Joy of Flying album? I would love to see that!
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
My favorite drummer of all time. I got to see him in clinic shortly before he passed. I barely knew who he was and had just heard him on some Miles recordings. His power and sheer command of that kit floored me. There will never be another one like him.
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
I've had Nefertitti playing in my car for months now. Now ideal for the acoustics, but my work commute is the only time I have to really soak in the compexity of it all.

But, honestly, nobody "gets" Tony the first time they hear him, right?

Took me a while to come round to jazz, and even then I had to first absorb the more straight forward harbop stuff before getting into those '60s Miles records.
I think I actually bought Nefertitti and other Miles albums a few years ago and subsequently traded them in!

Boy am I glad that I finally got it! I think I do anyway... in any case, I certainly enjoy Tony's sound and playing, that's what counts.

Still, I'd be interested to know how you all came to be Tony fans, was it obvious from the start or was it a long journey via other drummers and music?

It honestly scares me to think that I could have gone to my grave never having appreciated "that" ride sound!
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I've had Nefertitti playing in my car for months now. Now ideal for the acoustics, but my work commute is the only time I have to really soak in the compexity of it all.

But, honestly, nobody "gets" Tony the first time they hear him, right?

Took me a while to come round to jazz, and even then I had to first absorb the more straight forward harbop stuff before getting into those '60s Miles records.
I think I actually bought Nefertitti and other Miles albums a few years ago and subsequently traded them in!

Boy am I glad that I finally got it! I think I do anyway... in any case, I certainly enjoy Tony's sound and playing, that's what counts.

Still, I'd be interested to know how you all came to be Tony fans, was it obvious from the start or was it a long journey via other drummers and music?

It honestly scares me to think that I could have gone to my grave never having appreciated "that" ride sound!
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
 
Last edited:

Mike Stand

Silver Member
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.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
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
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
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
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
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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