Williams, who was 18 when he appeared on Eric Dolphy's classic Out to Lunch album, stayed with Davis into 1969, leading his own occasional sessions and becoming a household name in the jazz world.
In addition to his interest in avant-garde jazz, Tony Williams was a fan of rock music, and when he left Miles he formed the fusion band Lifetime, a trio with Larry Young and John McLaughlin.
After leading other versions of Lifetime (one of them starring Allan Holdsworth), Williams stuck to freelancing for a time, studied composition, and toured with Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. band. By the mid-'80s, he was heading his own all-star hard bop group which featured Wallace Roney as a surrogate Miles Davis and a repertoire dominated by the drummer's originals (including the standard "Sister Cheryl"). After breaking up his longtime quintet in 1995, Williams gigged a bit with a trio, recorded a very interesting set of original music for the Ark 21 label, and seemed to have a limitless future. His premature death makes one grateful that he started his career early and that he was extensively documented. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide