It's interesting to note how many liner notes begin with variations upon the same story. A shared enthusiasm for a jazz icon or a similar approach to playing leads musicians for whom the very thought of collaborating seems uncanny to form a trio, a quartet, or what have you. The group is usually solid, with decent albums and worthy individual projects, but as a group, they lack a vein of originality. Granted, this occurs in music as a whole, but the binding element in jazz is significantly different from the one in other genres like, say, pop. ...read more
Jack DeJohnette always admired his peer, the late great Tony Williams (1945-97). He assembled Trio Beyond with guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Larry Goldings, with the goal of exploring the music of the Tony Williams Lifetime from 1969, an ensemble that embraced jazz and rock, treating the combination as an entity all its own. The group's debut album, Emergency! (Polygram, 1969), featuring guitarist John McLaughlin and organist Larry Young, a potent mix of jazz and rock rhythms foreshadowed things to come. As a result of Williams' experiment, the jazz world was forever changed by Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), ...read more
Over the course of the fifty-some years that he was on this planet, drummer Tony Williams made his mark on the world of jazz through innovation and creativity in a way that few had done before him and even fewer have accomplished since his untimely death in 1998. Highly lauded by critics and fans alike, Williams' work in the late '60s with the power trio Lifetime is the impetus for the group Trio Beyond, featuring John Scofield, Larry Goldings and Jack DeJohnette. Paying homage while fostering their own collective individualism, these gentlemen manage to splash a fresh coat of paint ...read more
After a series of ethereal and cerebral releases earlier this year, the double-CD Saudades is a welcome change of pace for the ECM label. Not only is it a well-recorded live date, but the playing is hotter than hot (the whole world seems to prefer the adjective blistering") and the group interplay is outstanding. The gig was put together by Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield, who invited Larry Goldings to pay homage to Tony Williams, both in general and specifically for his work in the Lifetime band with John McLaughlin and Larry Young. All three players on ...read more
Looking back has become almost de rigeur lately, and with that the risk of putting legacy groups on a pedestal--being fervently imitative, rather than taking the music to new places. Saudades pays tribute to the late drummer Tony Williams' groundbreaking fusion group Lifetime, and Trio Beyond clearly has the right idea. The spirit and energy which defined Lifetime's brief existence is in full force on this live double-disc set, but Trio Beyond's ability to apply a modernistic bent to Lifetime's raw power makes Saudades more than just a heartfelt tribute. It's one of the best releases of 2006.
Drummer Jack ...read more
This energetic November 2004 London concert was billed as Lifetime and Beyond: Celebrating Tony Williams." The trio's instrumentation--organ, electric guitar, drums--mirrors the late drummer's seminal jazz-rock Lifetime outfit, but its name emphasizes what lies beyond.
Lifetime is not forgotten in the process, of course. Each of two long sets ends with a number from the trio's explosive 1969 debut, and these new readings still echo some of the excitement and incomprehensibility that the music caused more than thirty years ago. Unlike most of the other jazz-rock fusion of the era, Tony Williams' conception of rock embraced not only Sly Stone, ...read more
Trio Beyond, led by drummer Jack DeJohnette, came together in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2004 to present a tip of the hat to Tony Williams' Lifetime, the trio the legendary drummer formed after leaving Miles Davis' second great quintet in 1969. Lifetime featured a full-throttle drums/organ/guitar attack and fired off a loud, rock-infused opening salvo in the then-new fusion explosion. Trio Beyond boasts the same instrumental lineup, with DeJohnette in the drummer's chair, Larry Goldings taking on Larry Young's organ duties, and John Scofield assuming John McLaughlin's guitar part.Williams, who joined Miles Davis in 1963 as a ...read more