Tony Williams was only 17-years in 1963 when debuted with Miles Davis. It came as one of the most interesting emergences across 20th-century music.
So, when Miles spoke about him, he could not forget to mention how impressed he was when he heard the drummer for the first time. To Miles Davis, this was a little drummer who has everything big to offer the world of music.
It seemed as though he had already mastered his own unique style of delivering incredible drum sounds at his young age. Or, perhaps he was born holding drum-sticks in his hands.
Miles wrote in his autobiography, stating that “I could definitely hear right away that this was going to be one of the baddest… to ever play a set of drums.”
Miles invited him to join his crew; the drummer had already made a serious contribution to the industry. He had been working with jazz vanguard under saxophonist Jackie McLean and a team of other top musicians. As such, his fate as a great drummer had already been sealed, and it was not hard for Miles to pick him out and train him to his level.
But that is not what made him famous. His role in Davis’ “Second Great Quintet, marked the turning point in his life”. It was this role the musician he later turned out to be.
He enjoyed greatly working with sidemen, who did not hesitate to test his limits. He was recognized by his dizzying ride-cymbal patterns, eruptive accents, and radical time distortions. Hence, Williams was more than happy to rise to the challenge that built and sharpened his skills.
Miles and Williams created what can be termed as “student-beats-teacher” situations. In 1969, Williams took a separate way, and from his talent and skills, it was only fair that he beat the trumpeter to the jazz-rock punch when he created the shining star of Lifetime.
Williams worked hard to ensure the group’s success, encouraging every member to put in their efforts for the benefits of the team. William’s commitment enabled him to build unique styles that have been emulated across the globe, making it possible for other drummers to achieve their goal.
William met his untimely death in 1967 through uncertain circumstances. But a decade earlier, he had re-dedicated his styles back to jazz, playing with addictive intensity. He has laid an inspirational background across all music genres. Cindy Blackman was one of the biggest fans to the drummer, who once said Williams was a master technician, a master drummer, and an innovator age.
This description fits him perfectly based on the number of projects he worked on and the contribution he left in the industry.
Williams was always ahead of everyone when it comes to building attractive styles. Cindy also commended that the drummer had so many things that elevated music. No wonder his work still rocks.