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Tony Williams Miles-era Cymbal

paulwells73

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I have a hard time believing he used something as thin as a bopworks bird land. That’s the lightest stick I’ve seen. Like a pencil.

Here‘s a photo I can share. This was taken by Francis Wolff at the session for Grachan Moncur’s “Evolution." Unfortunately, this is a pretty low res photo. I’ve seen a high quality print of it, and you can clearly see that the stick in his left hand says "Gretsch 3D Sonny Payne."

I went through all of the scans I have of Gretsch catalogs - 1955, 1958, 1963, 66, 70, and 81. In all but the 1981, the 3D is described as having a 15" length (which is really short, shorter than a Birdland stick.) By the 1981 catalog, it seems that Gretsch made all of the sticks bigger. In the 81 catalog, it’s now called a 3A instead of a 3D, but it still has the same barrel tip. It was then listed at 15 and 3/4", and 9/16 diameter (.5625) which is quite a bit thicker than it was in the 60s. I’d estimate that the 1960s 3D sticks I own are no more than .520" in diameter, and maybe as thin as .500". The Bopworks Birdland is 15 and 5/16" tall and .500" thick.

More interesting trivia about the Gretsch Sonny Payne stick - Steve Gadd used to use that stick (possibly because he was heavily influenced by Tony.) In interviews, he has described his original Vic Firth signature stick as "my version of the Gretsch Sonny Payne model."

Also, the 3D was actually called the Jo Jones stick when Jo was a Gretsch endorser until the mid 50s. It’s still listed that way in the 1955 Gretsch catalog. In the 1958 catalog, it’s simply called the 3D Dance model, because Jo had left Gretsch for Ludwig. It appears as the Sonny Payne stick by the 1963 catalog, and is again called the Dance model (but now the 3A) in the 1970 Gretsch catalog, because Sonny left for Sonor.

Capella (who made sticks for Gretsch) continued to make sticks for various drum shops in the 70s and 80s and they made a Jo Jones model stick, that I believe was pretty similar to the Gretsch 3D/3A. I’ve been looking for an old Jo Jones stick, but have yet to find one.

This is probably WAY more info than anyone needs on this subject.


17DE8B05-1CD8-4DA6-B714-C3CCAA3FC09C.jpeg
 

Esotericdrums

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there's two angles we came up in the old CH days 1) Max took him to Gretsch and he picked -which 62-63- could have been Intermediate or an earlier unsold old stock (IV even iii ) who knows
or 2) Max Gave him the Ride - which could have been from 1949 etc..
5) we'll never know;




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How can Istanbul recreate a cymbal brought to them by Tony’s wife but no one have a firm answer on the specifics of Tony’s old k zildjian?
 

JDA

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How can Istanbul recreate a cymbal brought to them by Tony’s wife but no one have a firm answer on the specifics of Tony’s old k zildjian?
They took some pictures...but released None that a Cymbalholic could use to decipher; altho as Someone said/ think it was Paul/ the section that is broken off/ may have held the insignia Stamp!

Tony took this Sheet with him!
~
They got the weight, the profile...probably couldn't recreate cup or bridge..)
 

JDA

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member tradrad chimes in


with one

22-os-k-chair-jpg.573398



22-os-k-profile-2-jpg.573399


22"

22-22os-k-stamp-jpg.573400


(his stick in vid) " is a custom stick from frank kincel...labackbeat...basically a slightly longer 2b in a maple weight with a triangle bead...not so afield from the original capella version of tony's stick but lighter...
weight (of cymbal) is 2515gs "






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vinoyarey

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didn’t he used two cymbals with miles? the one with the broken part which mehmet copied and another one with rivet holes which he gave to wallace and used by cindy balckman and lenny white? lenny white talked about it in an interview,the inspiration for his epoch ride
3CD0D548-6C84-4700-B920-F99B7A6F48E2.jpeg
 
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toddbishop

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Here‘s a photo I can share. This was taken by Francis Wolff at the session for Grachan Moncur’s “Evolution." Unfortunately, this is a pretty low res photo. I’ve seen a high quality print of it, and you can clearly see that the stick in his left hand says "Gretsch 3D Sonny Payne."

I went through all of the scans I have of Gretsch catalogs - 1955, 1958, 1963, 66, 70, and 81. In all but the 1981, the 3D is described as having a 15" length (which is really short, shorter than a Birdland stick.) By the 1981 catalog, it seems that Gretsch made all of the sticks bigger. In the 81 catalog, it’s now called a 3A instead of a 3D, but it still has the same barrel tip. It was then listed at 15 and 3/4", and 9/16 diameter (.5625) which is quite a bit thicker than it was in the 60s. I’d estimate that the 1960s 3D sticks I own are no more than .520" in diameter, and maybe as thin as .500". The Bopworks Birdland is 15 and 5/16" tall and .500" thick.

More interesting trivia about the Gretsch Sonny Payne stick - Steve Gadd used to use that stick (possibly because he was heavily influenced by Tony.) In interviews, he has described his original Vic Firth signature stick as "my version of the Gretsch Sonny Payne model."

Also, the 3D was actually called the Jo Jones stick when Jo was a Gretsch endorser until the mid 50s. It’s still listed that way in the 1955 Gretsch catalog. In the 1958 catalog, it’s simply called the 3D Dance model, because Jo had left Gretsch for Ludwig. It appears as the Sonny Payne stick by the 1963 catalog, and is again called the Dance model (but now the 3A) in the 1970 Gretsch catalog, because Sonny left for Sonor.

Capella (who made sticks for Gretsch) continued to make sticks for various drum shops in the 70s and 80s and they made a Jo Jones model stick, that I believe was pretty similar to the Gretsch 3D/3A. I’ve been looking for an old Jo Jones stick, but have yet to find one.

This is probably WAY more info than anyone needs on this subject.


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Between all those guys, that seems like a model that would be worthy of Bopworks reproducing... can somebody send him a pair?
 

drummingbulldog

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Pro Mark made a hickory stick that was just like the Gadd sig called the SG 737. It was my favorite back then along with the oak 808 that BC played. They were both short with barrel tip and oval tips respectively.
 

toddbishop

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there's two angles we came up in the old CH days 1) Max took him to Gretsch and he picked -which 62-63- could have been Intermediate or an earlier unsold old stock (IV even iii ) who knows
or 2) Max Gave him the Ride - which could have been from 1949 etc..
5) we'll never know;




Problem is, in all the videos the cymbals don't particularly sound like the thing. I think those people might have taken the cymbals to the wrong shop. And evidently none of the dudes playing them ever listened to a Tony Williams record:


I like knowing about the cymbal and what kind of sticks he used, but in the end players are all different. Any of a range of sticks, cymbals, touches and techniques are possible to get a similar sound and effect for an individual player's purpose in a particular situation. No real player is out there trying to be a statistically perfect copy of Tony Williams and his set up. Maybe Cindy Blackman.
 

jazzdruman

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Side note ...
I just flipped on the radio and heard a tune that in a lot of ways could've been the 60's Miles Quintet, but without the TW old K. Tom Harrell Infinity with Johnathon Blake on drums. Boy, does this group capture the style convincingly. But, no trashy old K. Interesting to hear what the Miles quintet might've sounded like without "the K".
OK, back to your regularly scheduled programming ...
Good old days. Nice album between.
 

paulwells73

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Problem is, in all the videos the cymbals don't particularly sound like the thing. I think those people might have taken the cymbals to the wrong shop. And evidently none of the dudes playing them ever listened to a Tony Williams record:


I like knowing about the cymbal and what kind of sticks he used, but in the end players are all different. Any of a range of sticks, cymbals, touches and techniques are possible to get a similar sound and effect for an individual player's purpose in a particular situation. No real player is out there trying to be a statistically perfect copy of Tony Williams and his set up. Maybe Cindy Blackman.
This is really key, and it’s been said before but bears repeating - a large percentage of what we are hearing is Tony‘s touch and ideas, not a particularly great cymbal. It may have been a great cymbal, but Tony made great music with it.

I‘ve spent a lot of time chasing that sound, and I have some cymbals that have some of the qualities that I hear on Tony records from the 60s. But I also spend a lot of time working on trying to sound like Tony, shedding transcriptions and trying to get close to his sound and feel. I can get maybe 30% of the way there - nowhere near as great as Tony. But honestly, the cymbal and stick choice don’t have anything to do with how close I can get myself to sound like Tony - it has everything to do with trying to channel his touch and feel. Whether or not I have my most "Tony-sounding" cymbals up doesn’t actually seem to help either way!
 

JDA

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yeah take out his playing all that; that's why I said the Slower songs; can hear the cymbal ring on its' own...(frost on it's own) In-between strikes.....Just to get an idea if what we're hearing anything like it in 2022 (or what ever year it is) Just been a while since I wanted to revisit and listen to it's "over hang" when he [isn't[/i] playing it...
It's the same old "controlled frost. Very unusual old K nobody can seem get out of, the one's they own.. in 2022 yet LOL

But the slow songs..where the cymbal drifts alone..on it's own...after the strike...

https://soundcloud.com/jda56%2F50cent
close enough as I care To.
And it ain't evn close
but don't care : )
 
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trashman

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This is really key, and it’s been said before but bears repeating - a large percentage of what we are hearing is Tony‘s touch and ideas, not a particularly great cymbal. It may have been a great cymbal, but Tony made great music with it.

I‘ve spent a lot of time chasing that sound, and I have some cymbals that have some of the qualities that I hear on Tony records from the 60s. But I also spend a lot of time working on trying to sound like Tony, shedding transcriptions and trying to get close to his sound and feel. I can get maybe 30% of the way there - nowhere near as great as Tony. But honestly, the cymbal and stick choice don’t have anything to do with how close I can get myself to sound like Tony - it has everything to do with trying to channel his touch and feel. Whether or not I have my most "Tony-sounding" cymbals up doesn’t actually seem to help either way!

I always respect your opinions and experience, Paul.
I also have a long history, when this type of discussion arises, of trying to make a distinction between musicality and tonality. I believe that if, for example, Tony had played the entirety of his Nefertiti sessions using a 14" Z Custom bottom Hi-Hat cymbal as his ride cymbal, we would absolutely be able to feel and hear that it was Tony playing it, musically, but I don't think that even Tony could make that 14" Z. Custom sound convincingly like his Nefertiti 22" K, tonally.
Conversely, I also think that if almost any decent player walked into that RVG's studio on the day(s) the Nefertiti session was recorded (mics, eq, etc., all being exactly as they were), grabbed Tony's actual sticks, played straight 8th notes on his 22" K for a minute, we'd likely be able to tell that it was the same cymbal (or one that was uncannily similar to it), focusing on tone rather than musicality.
I'm not intending to minimize the importance of touch; it's a colossal contributing factor to musicality, and certainly influences tone, as well. I guess I just think that the particular cymbal that Tony was playing deserves a good bit of credit for sounding the way it did, tonally, when Tony played it.
I entirely agree with you that so much of what makes us focus on the elusive beauty of the tone of Tony's cymbal is the innovative musical creativity that Tony used that cymbal as a tool to articulate and convey. I'd just add that the cymbal he was playing, to its own credit (or that of the cymbalsmith who made it), shone its own glorious light on on Tony's musicality.
Symbiosis.
 

multijd

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I’m definitely in the “It’s mainly in his hands” camp. But the instrument CAN play a large role. Two quick examples. I played with a fantastic bass player with whom I work often and one night he brought a bass that had belonged to Dave Holland and that Dave had used on all of the 70’s ECM recordings. After a set I turned to him and said, ”I can definitely hear the sound of that bass on those records”. Despite the fact that this player has his own sound and feel, the sound of the instrument was there.
On another night I visited some freinds at a session and two bass players with whom I play often were there. The second bass player sat in on the first players instrument. When he took over, the bass sounded completely different. I know both of their playing really well. The second player sounded like himself and the bass sounded nothing like it does when the first plays it.
 

DB-66

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I also think that if almost any decent player walked into that RVG's studio on the day(s) the Nefertiti session was recorded
Columbia 30th St Studio, I believe
 


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