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Drum Forums => Drum Forum - Drummers Discussions - General => Topic started by: Carthage on February 21, 2012, 09:07:58 PM

Title: Tony Williams
Post by: Carthage on February 21, 2012, 09:07:58 PM

      Tony Williams is one of those one of kind drummers.  He started playing with Mile Davis when he was 17 years old.  Most drummers out there don't really know and understand what a great drummer is.  Tony is one of the great drummers.  People talk about speed, but I don't think they really understand what fast is.

       Also, how to play solos without playing licks or twirling sticks.  Actually, playing heavy metal is pretty simple, but playing jazz at especially Mile Davis speed and playing something meaningful with feeling while driving the band musically is a little bit more of a challenge.

Here is some Tony:  (note: the previous video showing Tony was deleted on youtube, so I deleted it here.)

1.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzkZ8Ikr9L4

2.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06F7_ju97UY

Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: KenSanders on February 23, 2012, 07:01:14 PM
I really enjoyed watching these videos Don, especially the first one.  You can see a bit of the evolving Tony Williams style in the three videos.  Even as he got more adventurous in his playing style, he never sacrificed the pulse of the tune.   

I am sharing a series of eight videos filmed at the Blue Note New York in 1989.  The sound and camera angles are really good.  This was filmed during his Yellow Gretsch "big drum" era and he uses more cymbals too.  In his earlier years the ride cymbal sound was a thin crash/ride sound that sometimes overpowered the stick articulation.....although that was a signature style for him.  In these eight clips you'll notice a much drier and articulate ride cymbal sound and those K crashes fade fairly quick too.

His use and placement of three floor toms is very interesting.  You will notice the largest floor tom has a tremendous low tone.....deeper than his 24" bass drum.  His other toms are also larger sizes compared to today's normal sizes, but he tensioned them fairly tight to faciltate his fast stickings with clarity. His wooden shell snare drum sounds medium tension and fairly dry. 

These videos show a quintet version of Lifetime with a good mix of tunes, solos, and drum textures.  If you compare the 17 year old Tony Williams' earlier drumming with Miles Davis, I think it is still trademark Tony Williams but with more musical maturity, although he still shows his adventurous nature quite well.


Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: Carthage on February 24, 2012, 07:42:13 PM
Thanks Ken! 

Here is an amazing solo with V.S.O.PII. Montreux Jazz Festival July 23, 1983.  This is a beautiful example of what I talked about in the "How I Play Drum Solos" in the blog.  Playing a solo "on the drums" with emotion - no standardized licks or stick twirling or other gimmicks.  Just kick-ass playing from the heart and soul.   This also shows what I talk about as the ability to create the solo as you are playing it, not just regurgitating a bunch of memorized patterns so every solo is the same.  You're emotions change, so your drums solos should change to match them.

Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: KenSanders on February 24, 2012, 08:17:32 PM
Wow...........thanks for sharing this one Don.  Blazing single strokes and those trademark K sounds. Amazing talent.  ;)

Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: Carthage on February 24, 2012, 11:02:45 PM
Here is a Tony Williams Clinic in three parts.  Anyone who is serious about being a drummer needs to check this out.

1.  This is part one with some playing.


2.  This is part two with Tony talking about drumming and answering questions.


3.  This is some incredible playing and talking.

Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: Carthage on March 13, 2012, 12:08:01 AM

      On the "my favorite drummer" post I recently mentioned that Tony Williams is my favorite drummer, and that I'm making a "drum solo discography" of all his drum solos from his cds.  I'll be giving the cd titles, but only the songs with drum solos will be listed along with the duration of each solo. 

      The discography will be the most complete discography on the internet of his cds.  There are many Tony William discographies on the internet, but they are not complete.


Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: KenSanders on March 14, 2012, 06:52:15 PM
Can't wait Don.  This is seriously cool.

Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: Carthage on April 27, 2012, 03:40:59 AM

   I put some Tony Williams stuff at this site:  www.tonywilliamsdiscography.com  for anyone interested in his discography and also in listening to his drum solos.  It doesn't have everything, but I'm working on it.


Title: Re: Tony Williams
Post by: KenSanders on April 29, 2012, 02:15:18 AM
Just got home from my gig tonight.  I will look forward to checking this out a little later.  Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us.   8)