If you know drums, you should know Tony Williams. If you know jazz, you should know Tony Williams. If you've heard of Miles Davis, you should know Tony Williams. Miles is, of course, Miles, but Tony Williams was the rhythm that kept Miles from going too far astray, although there were many times when they both went waaay out there. They were key figures in pioneering fusion jazz, taking it to places that jazz wasn't supposed to be, making purists and conservative minds a bit uncomfortable. But they would eventually embrace it for what it was, even if it wasn't understood at the time. They were bold, trailblazers, with Miles at the helm, and Tony Williams as the beat.
It was Tony Williams who was touring with Miles when he was barely a legal adult. At 23, he was touring the world with Miles, and in 1967, they toured throughout Europe with the most epic cast of jazzmen, and yes, this is the true meaning of the word epic
Miles Davis on Trumpet, Wayne Shorter on Tenor Saxophone, Ron Carter on Bass, and Tony Williams on Drums.
Tony Williams would continue to set trends and push the jazz art form to new heights, even after his work with Miles. Unfortunately, he passed way too soon at the age of 51. He would have been 67 today, and it is certain that he would have been just as much of an influential musician today, as he was back then.
Today we remember Tony Williams, or in some cases, we learn about him, his greatness, and his contributions.
Interview: Tony Williams in DownBeat Magazine
Written by: @Haylow