Todd,I remember reading a Modern Drummer interview with the great Victor Lewis.Victor recounted his recent playing @ Village Vanguard and how owner,Lorraine Gordon,had told him he was "playing too loud".
Victor said WHAT?! I saw Tony Williams here last week and THAT was LOUD! To which she said "and that was the LAST TIME you'll hear HIM here,too."
I think I was at the VG seeing Tony the week of which V Lewis saw him too judging by the interview month...yeah...Tony was unbelievablly loud at times...I always wanted to ask Wallace Roney if he'd suffered any hearing loss or tinnitus from having Tony's ride right behind his head for years...same for Bill Pierce
I had a "drum seat" too...front dead center table...I had a foot resting on the band stand at times...Wallace & Billy one foot away...unbelievable experience.Todd,
I was there a few times that week, (I have them on tape) including that last night, and I heard Lorraine yelling in the kitchen from out front once. I sat in the "drum seats" for both nights, people in the front first few rows were wincing because Tony was so loud. I remember a bass solo specifically where Tony played this crash and bass drum unison idea going into the bridge. There were very small little glances from the band, and wry little smiles. Those instances were not lost on the band. That week made me realize that there were things that you can "get away with" when you are...
A. playing in YOUR own band.
B. When you are TONY WILLIAMS.
Nobody's perfect, not even Tony. It was a weird week. But the next time through NYC Tony was at the Blue Note, and it was packed (!!!) I played later in my career with a saxophonist that played in Tony's band (replacing Billy) and asked him often about playing with Tony. I also knew Mulgrew, and Wallace. They all said that playing with Tony was enjoyable, but if you didn't bring your A game, he would bowl you over. I never asked about hearing issues.
Later on, Tony and I knew each other a little. He even invited me to a session in NYC. Tony's last few years on this earth were very complex times for him, and those complexities seemed to manifest themselves in many different ways. But the drumming and the composing... Forget about it.
Nah the "drum seats" are up against the wall behind the post. You are actually on the bandstand, but no one in the crowd can see you since you are behind the post, most drummers set up right next to the post.I had a "drum seat" too...front dead center table...I had a foot resting on the band stand at times...Wallace & Billy one foot away...unbelievable experience.
OOOOOHHHH...yeah...big difference! thanks man! by the way...who are you?Nah the "drum seats" are up against the wall behind the post. You are actually on the bandstand, but no one in the crowd can see you since you are behind the post, most drummers set up right next to the post.
You are literally 2 feet from the HH stand and sort of in back of the drums, you can see guys feathering, watch BD technique, watch brushwork, and see their hands clearly. You can see and hear what the drummer is seeing and hearing, and there is a speaker mounted right on the post too, so you get a little of the out front "mix."
I've seen so many legendary drummers from that perch. It's better than front row. Collectively, I've probably spent a few years of my life in those seats. It's truly one of my "happy places" in the world.
Thank you thank you thank you for posting this - this is pure gold and a perfect example of why I consider Tony the greatest drummer I have ever heard. The mind that he had to come up with this stuff is light years beyond anything and anyone else I have ever heard - including Buddy, who basically did the same solo with micro variations for years and years. Tony never played it safe - he was always playing on the edge and he always played differently every time I saw him, and I saw him a lot from the early 70s until a few years before his passing. He never failed to astound me. Other people are faster, other people are more flamboyant, but I've never heard anyone more creative than him. To my ear, the difference between Tony's playing and other drummers is like the difference between a 3D statue and a drawing on a piece of paper - there's a deeper dimension to him and this video is a shining example of that.
I was living in Berlin and happened to tune in, one night, to VOA. In studio guest was TW. Took phone calls and, all of a sudden I was talking with him. I told him that his sound was so identifiable that, within a few bars of any given chart, I’d know it was him. He thanked me. Shortly after he went into the hospital and never came out.The one and only...
This facebook groups keeps you updated (there might be more, I lost track )There's a find Seb!