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Jazz - Released August 12, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Ego

Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Verve

Easily the weirdest record the Tony Williams Lifetime ever released, 1971's Ego is an experimental blend of post-hard bop jazz and the spacier end of psychedelic rock. Larry Young's wafting organ parts and Ted Dunbar's rockist guitar (as opposed to the more traditional jazz bent of the guy he replaced, John McLaughin) combine to make parts of the album sound like Atom Heart Mother-era Pink Floyd, particularly on "There Comes a Time" and "Lonesome Wells (Gwendy Trio)." Unfortunately, both of those tracks are bogged down by vocals (by Williams and Jack Bruce, respectively) singing Williams' own earnest and not terribly inspired verse. The best tracks are those that dispense with the lyrical claptrap -- the liner notes are also a terribly dated hoot -- and get down to the creation of some roiling atmospheres and powerful group improvisation. In that regard, things really pick up at the end, with the ghostly "Mom and Dad" and the cacophonous closer "Urchins of Shermese," on which Williams splits the narcoleptic mood of the introduction with some of his most fractured and arrhythmic fills ever, while simultaneously maintaining a groove that's typically snaky and propulsive. Drum geeks will particularly adore the two brief solo pieces, "Clap City" and "Some Hip Drum Shit," which are both technically impressive and short enough not to get dull. Solid jazz-rock, from the days before fusion got painfully dull. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Drummer Tony Williams' first recording as a leader (made when he was 18 and still billed as Anthony Williams) gave him an opportunity to utilize an advanced group of musicians: tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, pianist Herbie Hancock, and both Richard Davis and Gary Peacock on bass. Williams wrote all four of the pieces and has a different combination of players on each song. The freely improvised "Memory" features Hutcherson, Hancock, and Williams in some colorful and at times spacy interplay; "Barb's Song to the Wizard" is a Hancock-Ron Carter duet; "Tomorrow Afternoon" has Rivers, Peacock and Williams in a trio; and all of the musicians (except Hutcherson) are on the sidelong "2 Pieces of One." The unpredictable music holds one's interest; a very strong debut for the masterful drummer. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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House - Released July 10, 2020 | SoSure Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Although a bit underrated, drummer Tony Williams Quintet was one of the top hard bop units of the late '80s. Williams' originals (he contributed all seven of the compositions to this CD) gave his group a fresh repertoire, and his rather loud drumming really forced trumpeter Wallace Roney, Billy Pierce (on tenor and soprano), pianist Mulgrew Miller, and the alternating bassists Ira Coleman (who would soon become the group's only permanent member) and Bob Hurst to play with all of the energy and volume they could muster. This date is easily recommended to fans of the more adventurous side of straight-ahead jazz. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Tony Williams had never led a straightahead recording session before and is a little higher in the mix than drummers usually rate. But despite the fact that he almost drowns out Bobby Hutcherson's vibes at times, Williams's playing is consistently colorful and would hold one's interest even if he were under-recorded. © Scott Yanow, Cadence /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

All of the recordings by Tony Williams' hard bop quintet of the late '80s/early '90s are worth owning. Trumpeter Wallace Roney, Billy Pierce (on tenor and soprano), and pianist Mulgrew Miller offered consistently satisfying solos, bassist Charnett Moffett was excellent in support, and the drummer-leader constantly pushed his sidemen; in concert his "support" could nearly drown out the soloists. For this 1988 studio session, Williams contributed nine originals including "Pee Wee" from his days with Miles Davis. The music is generally straight-ahead and full of passion. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Blue Note Records

Considering the extraordinary talent assembled for Tony Williams' second Blue Note date as a leader, this could have been a landmark session. Unfortunately, it's not. Spring isn't totally forgettable; on the contrary, the fire expected by members of the Miles Davis Quintet (Williams, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter), all thoroughly influenced by "the new thing," were unleashed completely from Miles' tight rein. Add tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers and Albert Ayler bassist Gary Peacock into this mix and that influence thrived. However, the five Tony Williams compositions (including the drum only "Echo") often failed to provoke the musicians into reaching crucial unity, making Spring haphazard, falling short of the expected goal. Following Spring, Williams would not release another solo date for four years, returning on the Polydor label with the groundbreaking electric rock trio recording Emergency! © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Tony Williams had never led a straightahead recording session before and is a little higher in the mix than drummers usually rate. But despite the fact that he almost drowns out Bobby Hutcherson's vibes at times, Williams's playing is consistently colorful and would hold one's interest even if he were under-recorded. © Scott Yanow, Cadence /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Although he had recorded the year before using trumpeter Wallace Roney and pianist Mulgrew Miller on Foreign Intrigue, Civilization was the debut record by drummer Tony Williams' hard bop quintet, a group also including Billy Pierce on tenor and soprano, and bassist Charnett Moffett (who would later be succeeded by Ira Coleman). The leader's loud and forceful drumming forced the other soloists to use their maximum power, and his eight originals gave his sidemen challenging compositions to play. With Roney emulating Miles Davis as usual, Williams must have been pleased to have his former boss' sound at his disposal. Although none of the songs caught on as standards, this is an excellent effort. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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House - Released July 10, 2020 | SoSure Music

House - Released July 17, 2020 | SoSure Music

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 18, 2020 | Mistaglizzy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Tony Williams had never led a straightahead recording session before and is a little higher in the mix than drummers usually rate. But despite the fact that he almost drowns out Bobby Hutcherson's vibes at times, Williams's playing is consistently colorful and would hold one's interest even if he were under-recorded. © Scott Yanow, Cadence /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 2, 2021 | ZooMafia

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 27, 2021 | W2S

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 24, 2021 | Dafi Woo

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 26, 2021 | 45 Gang

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 25, 2021 | seranash

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 30, 2021 | Kid Hunxcho