Tony Williams by Francis Wolff 1965
To put it mildly, Tony Williams’ drumming on Miles Davis’ 1963 recording of Seven Steps to Heaven shocked the Jazz world in general and Jazz drummers in particular. No one had ever played Jazz drums like that before. Bar lines disappeared; solos stopped and started everywhere and anywhere; drums crackled, popped and exploded; cymbals splashed and crashed in unexpected places; the hi-hat was played on four-beats-to-the-bar almost as though it were being danced on; the metronomic pulse that underscores Jazz became heightened and unrelenting. Tony pushed, shoved and pulled the momentum of the music unceasingly, almost unmercifully at times. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
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