Now THIS is a jazz kit

NobleCooleyNut

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I generally dislike Drum solos , Tony Williams being the biggest exception . His solos are always interesting with wonderful dynamics , musicality and chops .
I played Gretsch drums for a long time because of Tony’s influence . I always liked the sound of Tony’s Telliw Gretsch kit with the black dot heads . It has such a unique sound , very different from what the majority of drummers have these days . I aways thought it was so cool that he played such large drums with the various Jazz groups he played with .
 

tone-def

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Agreed on Tony's sound. I'd love to know how his head tuning would register on a tune bot in an effort to get close to that sound.
 

drummingbulldog

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I think Tony got his sound from him. Some guys have their own thing. Tony/Bonzo/Copeland etc. There are tons of others.
 

Seb77

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Agreed on Tony's sound. I'd love to know how his head tuning would register on a tune bot in an effort to get close to that sound.
Higher than most would think! His smallest rack tom was 13". The following fundamental tones seem pretty typical for him (listen to the video below):
13" e (~165Hz)
14" rack d (~147Hz)
14" floor c (~131Hz)
So, when it came to the 14" floor tom, he didn't change his tuning from the bop kits he used earlier, the difference came from those heads hit harder.

Similar thing with Simon Phillips btw (not quite as extreme): I remember a story of some fellow drum students being allowed to tap Simon's drums and being very suprised about the tightness of the tom heads.
 

Treviso1

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Higher than most would think! His smallest rack tom was 13". The following fundamental tones seem pretty typical for him (listen to the video below):
13" e (~165Hz)
14" rack d (~147Hz)
14" floor c (~131Hz)
So, when it came to the 14" floor tom, he didn't change his tuning from the bop kits he used earlier, the difference came from those heads hit harder.

Similar thing with Simon Phillips btw (not quite as extreme): I remember a story of some fellow drum students being allowed to tap Simon's drums and being very suprised about the tightness of the tom heads.
It's funny because watching Tony's solo above immediately made me think of Simon Phillips...in other words, Simon was obviously very influenced by Tony, along with Billy Cobham (and I am sure, many others). I had the good fortune to meet Tony back in the late 90s at a Clinic in Detroit at Huber & Breese Music, playing his yellow Gretsch drums. The drums were cranked up tuning-wise, but being such big drums, they still projected like crazy and sounding huge and fantastic. He started his clinic warming up with single strokes, doubles, triples, quads, combinations between the hands and his foot...and you couldn't hear the transitions going back and forth...his technique was so amazing, flawless...just like liquid flowing from his sticks. I had never seen or heard anything like it before or since. Tony was a gifted master who was a kid at heart. He played the drums with a youthful enthusiasm that few still have. He lived life with that same enthusiasm. He talked about how he didn't really like playing brushes and how much he preferred playing with sticks. He talked about how much the Jimi Hendrix Experience influenced him and the jazz artists of the time and how he wanted to form a band with Jimi and Miles. He talked about how much he enjoyed cooking... It was just really an amazing moment in time that I am glad I was there to experience.
 

Neal Pert

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Funny thing: The concert in the original post was released as a series of records called "One Night With Blue Note" and that version of Recordame was the first time I ever heard Tony. However, I'd been listening to some 45 rpm singles the night before so the first Tony I ever heard was that opening solo at 45 rpm. I remember hearing those opening notes and thinking, "Oh my God-- this is not human." Then when the band came in I realized it was on 45, so I pulled the needle, changed the speed, and listened again. I still thought it was one of the coolest things ever, but I was no longer floored by the insanity of hearing Tony at 45 rpm.

Thanks for that little trip down memory lane. That was a time in my life where access to jazz records was still pretty scarce, and buying those 4 records introduced me to so many great musicians.
 

cribbon

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Higher than most would think! His smallest rack tom was 13". The following fundamental tones seem pretty typical for him (listen to the video below):
13" e (~165Hz)
14" rack d (~147Hz)
14" floor c (~131Hz)
So, when it came to the 14" floor tom, he didn't change his tuning from the bop kits he used earlier, the difference came from those heads hit harder.

Similar thing with Simon Phillips btw (not quite as extreme): I remember a story of some fellow drum students being allowed to tap Simon's drums and being very suprised about the tightness of the tom heads.
Speaking of head tension, I had an unexpected surprise when Billy Cobham let me walk around his Yamaha kit before a Jazz Is Dead sound check back in the '90s. He was using fiberskyn heads on the toms and when I pressed my finger down on each of the batter heads to see how tight they were, they felt like pillows. They were much looser than I ever expected them to be, yet when he was playing, you'd swear he was getting a ton of rebound off of them. That's the mark of a master.
 

old_K_ride

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speaking of jazz drum kits a couple of years ago on a Tony Williams Facebook page Wallace Roney joined the discussion of Tony's Yellow set.
Wallace revealed Tony'd reignited his relationship with Gretsch not long before his death and that he'd received a 4pc Silver sparkle bop sized kit and that THAT
was what he was going to start playing...Wallace stated he saw them at Tony's,heard them,and Tony told him that was the plan.
can you imagine the buzz in the community if he'd come out on a 4pc with 2 cymbals & hi-hats...omg.
 

thejohnlec

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Tony also used large sticks (2B I think?), which contributed to his already formidable ability to project. Man - you can really hear his influence on Vinnie!
 

tone-def

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Higher than most would think! His smallest rack tom was 13". The following fundamental tones seem pretty typical for him (listen to the video below):
13" e (~165Hz)
14" rack d (~147Hz)
14" floor c (~131Hz)
So, when it came to the 14" floor tom, he didn't change his tuning from the bop kits he used earlier, the difference came from those heads hit harder.

Similar thing with Simon Phillips btw (not quite as extreme): I remember a story of some fellow drum students being allowed to tap Simon's drums and being very suprised about the tightness of the tom heads.
Thanks for that info! Would his reso heads be fairly tight as well? He hits them so hard I think I'm hearing some slap back into the microphones from his reso heads. Hard to pinpoint some things as many of the videos of him are set in large auditoriums.
 

Targalx

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Cue all those drummers freaking out because "you can't use Remo CS Clear with Black Dot heads for jazz music!" in 3...2...1.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Thanks for that info! Would his reso heads be fairly tight as well? He hits them so hard I think I'm hearing some slap back into the microphones from his reso heads. Hard to pinpoint some things as many of the videos of him are set in large auditoriums.
No, Tony’s Drum Tech spoke of how loose he had his resonant heads tuned and that frequently they would fall out in the cases when travelling . I believe the interview was in Traps! Magazine if I recall .

Steve Maxwell also tunes the batter heads tighter than the resonant side heads as well . There is a YouTube video where he speaks about it .
 

Seb77

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No, Tony’s Drum Tech spoke of how loose he had his resonant heads tuned and that frequently they would fall out in the cases when travelling,
Which , sorry to say, doesn't fit the aural evdience, meaning you can hear the fundamental tone and the batter head, and the fundamental is high, which indicates a high reso as well. You only get a an "e" fundamental from a 13" with a tight reso.
Die-cast hoops are pretty stiff; sometimes single t-rods loosen and fall off, with the others still in place.
 

JDA

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Sure sounds like tight batter loose reso ----> here (like cardboard..


I never liked that (tight top/loose bottom) myself-- very Thin Sound when ever I tried it) (..)
~
Might work in an acoustic setting but not surrounded by electric (as above...
) snare however sounds beautiful; toms; meh.
14x14 floor sounds like a 5 x14 w/the snares off/
 
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