April 15, 2011

Tony Williams

Williams was born in Chicago and grew up in Boston. He began studies with drummer Alan Dawson at an early age, and began playing professionally at the age of 13 with saxophonist Sam Rivers. Saxophonist 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." Williams was a vital element of the group, called by Davis in his autobiography "...the center that the group's sound revolved around." 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).
Williams's first album as a leader, 1964's Life Time, was recorded during his tenure with Davis. In 1969, he formed a trio, The Tony Williams Lifetime, with John McLaughlin on guitar, and Larry Young on organ. Jack Bruce joined on bass later. Lifetime was a pioneering band of the fusion movement, a combination of rock, R&B, and jazz.

The Tony Williams Lifetime - Turn It Over (1970)



  1. That's superb! I have earlier Lifetime stuff, great too but this is a thriller. Thanks! Now I have to buy Emergency

  2. back in the college days in orlando i used to see sam rivers and his band play every wednesday at wills pub for 8 bucks