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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tony Williams: Life Time

Read "Tony Williams: Life Time" reviewed by Matthew Aquiline

By now, it's an irrefutable fact that drummer Tony Williams was the youngest preeminent figure within the avant-garde movement of the mid-'60s. Every jazz fan seems to know the events that led to his international fame: after intriguing trumpeter Miles Davis with his cutting-edge approach to drumming, he was hired and added to the groundbreaking “Second Great Quintet" at the ripe age of 17. During this significant stint, Williams altered the trajectory of Davis' music, solidified himself as a drum ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Williams: Tony Williams: Mosaic Select 24

Read "Tony Williams: Mosaic Select 24" reviewed by Matthew Miller

Blue Note president Alfred Lion knew talent when he saw it and in the early 1960s--a time of unparalleled success for his once fledgling label--he signed an astonishingly virtuosic drummer who had recently emerged with Jackie McLean. We all know the story: a mere eighteen years old and Williams was an unstoppable force at the kit. Beating infectious time over sharp snare hits and the resounding wash of his hi-hat, the youngster added a new dimension to every band he ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tony Williams: Mosaic Select 24

Read "Tony Williams: Mosaic Select 24" reviewed by John Kelman

Tony WilliamsMosaic Select 24Mosaic Records2006When Tony Williams passed away unexpectedly in 1997, at the age of 51, it was the end to a career that had done much to redefine the drummer's role in jazz. From his earliest days--first with saxophonist Jackie McLean, and shortly afterwards, while still in his teens, as a member of trumpet icon Miles Davis' second great quintet--Williams lifted the kit out of its conventional position as an ...

REASSESSING

The Tony Williams Lifetime: Emergency!

Read "The Tony Williams Lifetime: Emergency!" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren

The Tony Williams Lifetime Emergency! Polydor 1969

A few months back I came across a great book written on the last forty years of jazz, Howard Mandel's Future Jazz. The book covered a lot of stylistic ground, including avant-garde, fusion, and free. It basically touched on jazz that Ken Burns never deemed a necessary part of jazz history. In a chapter on guitarist John McLaughlin, Mandel mentioned a band that ...

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The New Tony Williams Lifetime: Believe It

Read "Believe It" reviewed by John Kelman

By the time drummer Tony Williams left Miles Davis in '69, he had moved even farther away from the acoustic tradition than his former employer. His first recordings with his new band, Lifetime, were characterized by the sleeve instructions: “Play it Loud!" While the energy level was high and the music was infused with a rock and roll philosophy, it was nevertheless uncompromising and continued to push the boundaries; intense, daring and sometimes a little terrifying, the early incarnation of ...

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Tony Williams: Wilderness

Read "Wilderness" reviewed by Jim Santella

A full orchestra joins Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny and Stanley Clarke in this collection of tone poems that compare and contrast several takes on the meaning of wilderness. The leader provides a glimpse of the moods being portrayed through his choice of titles, as well as by supplying in the liner notes several familiar quotations about mankind and the natural world. Drummer Williams, who led the fusion band Lifetime in decades past, opts to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Tony Williams Lifetime: Spectrum: The Anthology

Read "Spectrum: The Anthology" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Tony Williams's pioneering electric trio Lifetime made two stunning, yet imperfect records in the early 1970s in Emergency! and Turn It Over. A reflection of the turbulence of its times and the new attitudes that were being shaped, Lifetime began life as one of jazz's first all-star power trios: the brilliant Larry Young on organ, the multitalented John McLaughlin on guitar and Williams, a complete arsenal of one on drums. Some of the music this group made was powerful and ...


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