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Essential Tony Williams Albums

A glimpse at the five Tony Williams albums with tunes covered on Spectrum Road

Tony Williams (Photo: Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment Archives)
Tony Williams (Photo: Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment Archives)
Tony Williams Lifetime 'Emergency!' album
Tony Williams' 'The Joy of Flying' album
Tony Williams Lifetime 'Turn It Over' album
Tony Williams Lifetime's 'Ego' album
The New Tony Williams Lifetime's 'Believe It' album

THE TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME
Emergency! (Polydor, 1969)

In the years prior to Emergency! ‘s release, Gary Burton and Miles Davis, among others, made their own overtures to infusing rock into jazz. But Lifetime’s debut was the first jazz album to fully embrace the rock revolution’s electric shock therapy. Emergency! is Williams’ only record featuring the classic Lifetime trio, with Larry Young on organ and John McLaughlin on guitar. On a couple tracks, Williams offers some soul-searching vocals. The clanging, virulently swinging title track opens the record in a 10-minute-long cloud of purple haze, and Emergency! is a kinetic joyride all the way through to its last song, “Something Special.”

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Originally Published