Tony Williams

From Academic Kids

Tony Williams (December 12, 1945 - February 23, 1997) was an American jazz drummer.

Williams began playing professionally at the age of 13 with saxophonist Sam Rivers. Jackie McLean hired Williams at 16. Then at 17, Williams found considerable fame with Miles Davis, joining a group that was later dubbed Davis's "Second Great Quintet." The drummer was a vital element of the group, and his inventive playing helped redefine the role of jazz rhythm section.

His 1970s band, Lifetime (with John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ), was a pioneer of the fusion movement, a combination of rock, R&B, and jazz.

Williams continued innovating with his late 1980s-early 1990s quintet, which included trumpeter Wallace Roney, saxophonist Bill Pierce, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and bassist Ira Coleman. This band played Williams's original compositions. This rhythm section also recorded as a trio.

Williams lived and taught in the San Francisco Bay Area until his death. One of his final recordings was Arcana, a release organized by prolific bass guitarist Bill Laswell.

Selected discography of the work of drummer Tony Williams.

As leader

  • Spring
  • Lifetime
  • Emergency!
  • Turn It Over
  • Believe It
  • The Joy Of Flying
  • "Angel Street"
  • "Tokyo Live"
  • "Young at Heart"

Jackie McLean

  • One Step Beyond

Eric Dolphy

Andrew Hill

  • Point of Departure

Sam Rivers

  • Fuschia Swing Song

Kenny Dorham

  • Una Mas

Miles Davis

  • Seven Steps to Heaven
  • Miles Davis in Europe
  • Four and More
  • My Funny Valentine
  • Miles Davis in Tokyo
  • Miles in Berlin
  • E.S.P.
  • The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel
  • Miles Smiles
  • Sorcerer
  • Nefertiti
  • Miles in the Sky
  • Filles de Kilimanjaro
  • In a Silent Way

Ron Carter

  • Third Plane

Herbie Hancock

  • Speak Like A Child
  • Empyrean Isles
  • Maiden Voyage

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