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Tony Williams


Born in Chicago and growing up in Boston, Williams began studies with master drummer Alan Dawson at an early age and began playing professionally at the age of 13 with saxophonist Sam Rivers. Jackie McLean hired Williams at 16. At 17 Williams found considerable fame with Miles Davis, joining a group that was later dubbed Davis's "Second Great Quintet." His first album as a leader, 1964's Life Time (not to be confused with the name of his band "Lifetime," which he formed several years later) was recorded during his tenure with Davis. Williams was a vital element of the group, called by Davis in his autobiography "the center of the group's sound". [citation needed] His inventive playing helped redefine the role of jazz rhythm section through the use of polyrhythms and metric modulation (transitioning between mathematically related tempos and/or time signatures). But perhaps his overarching achievement was in demonstrating, through his playing, that the drummer need not be relegated to timekeeping and accompaniment in a jazz ensemble; that the drummer may be free to contribute to the performance as an equal partner in the improvisation. In 1969, he formed a trio, "The Tony Williams Lifetime," with John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ


The Electric Years Box Set

Label: Columbia Records / VMP Anthology
Released: 2023

Article: Album Review

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure to Compulsion!!!!! Revisited

Read "Point of Departure to Compulsion!!!!! Revisited" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Point of Departure di Andrew Hill, inciso nel marzo 1964 e pubblicato dalla Blue Note una manciata di mesi dopo, è uno degli album di culto di quello che viene definito appunto Blue Note Style, ciò che la gloriosa etichetta fondata un quarto di secolo prima da Alfred Lion e Francis Wolff seppe brillantemente “illustrare" in ...


Article: Album Review

Geri Allen and Kurt Rosenwinkel: A Lovesome Thing

Read "A Lovesome Thing" reviewed by Dave Linn

This year the jazz gods have bestowed an early Christmas present upon us. A Lovesome Thing (truncated from the Billy Strayhorn composition which opens the album), is a seven-song, fifty-three-minute album which documents a remarkable live duo performance from Geri Allen and Kurt Rosenwinkel. It will likely be found on many Top Ten lists this year. ...


Article: Album Review

Trunino Lowe: The Vision

Read "The Vision" reviewed by Paul Rauch

You can try and look away. You can try to see the musician as a single entity that grew in the shadow of his native city's historic lineage. “Assess the young man's music on its own merits, without drawing comps to the past," would be the objective. But this was the trumpet, and the young man ...


Article: Album Review

Transatlantic Five: Transitions

Read "Transitions" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is an expression in meditation for when an individual is concentrating on their breath, “it's a simple practice, but not easy." A similar statement might be made about Transitions by the Transatlantic Five. The music is not simple, but it is easy. Easy, at least for this quintet. The American duo of Ken ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Sam Rivers Centennial + New John Zorn Works

Read "Sam Rivers Centennial + New John Zorn Works" reviewed by David Brown

For this week's show, we celebrate the centennial of the birth of composer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers; along the way we'll here a short vocal set and some recent releases from John Zorn. Playlist Thelonious Monk “Esistrophy (Theme)" from Live at the It Club--Complete (Columbia) 01:50 Helen Merrill, Clifford Brown “Hush Now Don't Explain" ...


Article: Book Review

John McLaughlin: From Miles and Mahavishnu to The 4th Dimension

Read "John McLaughlin: From Miles and Mahavishnu to The 4th Dimension" reviewed by Jeff Schwartz

John McLaughlin: From Miles and Mahavishnu to The 4th Dimension Matt Phillips 287 Pages ISBN: # 978-1-5381-7094-6 Rowman and Littlefield 2023 In fall 2023 John McLaughlin led a new edition of his band Shakti on a world tour. Reviews and fan videos caught the eighty- one-year-old McLaughlin playing with ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

'70s to the '80s with Return To Forever, Dixie Dregs, Brecker Brothers and Miles Davis

Read "'70s to the '80s with Return To Forever, Dixie Dregs, Brecker Brothers and Miles Davis" reviewed by Len Davis

Music from the '70s to the '80s from Return To Forever, Dixie Dregs and Bill Bruford. Brecker Brothers, Tony Williams, Miles Davis and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Playlist Return To Forever “Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant" from Romantic Warrior (Columbia) 00:00 Dixie Dregs “I'm Freaking Out" from Dregs Of The Earth (Arista) 07:49 ...


Article: Interview

Cindy Blackman Santana: Rhythmic And Musical Force

Read "Cindy Blackman Santana: Rhythmic And Musical Force" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

It's the 1980s in New York City. It's the place to be for musicians looking to make a name for themselves with hopes of finding steady gigs and recording dates. Drummer Cindy Blackman (long before her marriage to Carlos Santana) is there, fresh out of Berklee College of Music. She's there to meet people, ...


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