Get this crazy baby off my head!


The New Tony Williams Lifetime

The New Tony Williams Lifetime - Believe It - 1975 - Columbia

Believe It features former Motown bassist Tony Newton, keyboard player Alan Pasqua and, most notably, British guitarist Allan Holdsworth, who, while already somewhat of an underground legend in his own country, had yet to make an impression in North America. Believe It changed all that, demonstrating that not only was Holdsworth a fresh new voice on his instrument, but a fine writer as well. "Fred," later re-titled "Kinder" by Holdsworth, and a staple in his repertoire for some years to come, introduces Holdsworth's unique harmonic language, with a lyrical bent that manages to be completely distinctive. And his playing style is quite simply like no other; influenced heavily by Coltrane, Holdsworth, even at this early stage in his career, is capable of sheets of sound that, punctuated by held notes and legato runs, are visceral in their impact. No less visceral, of course, is Williams himself. While peers including Billy Cobham and Lenny White gravitated towards more overblown displays of virtuosity, Williams overpowers both with his stronger sense of groove and sheer muscularity. And while he is every bit as capable of extravagant displays of technique, he always sounds more musical. Even on intense burners like the Holdsworth-penned bonus track "Letsby," he is less concerned with how many beats he can throw into a fill; and his solo over Holdsworth's power chord ostinato is the epitome of construction. For someone who moved the concept of rhythmic freedom so far forward as part of Miles' second quintet, Williams may have been the most overtly rock and roll-informed drummer of the mid-'70s fusion era. With an inherent sense of groove and honest energy that comes from compositions that are less contrived and more direct vehicles for improvisational flight, Believe It is one of the most compelling arguments for the validity of jazz-rock fusion, before the term became such a dirty word. By & © JOHN KELMAN, Published: June 1, 2004 © 2012 All About Jazz and/or contributing writer/visual artist. All rights reserved http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=13840

The late drummer Tony Williams was a phenomenal jazz rock fusionist. "Believe It" is an almost perfect blend of jazz and rock. The album might be less "progressive" than other albums from Allan Holdsworth or Tony Williams, but contains eight brilliantly played and really good solid jazz rock/fusion compositions with a funky edge. There is wonderful guitar from the legendary Allan Holdsworth, some killer bass from the great Motown session musician Tony Newton and amazing keyboard play throughout from Alan Pasqua. 'Snake Oil' and 'Red Alert' are powerful compositions. 'Wildlife' is a nod to the missing link between the old and the new Tony Williams Lifetime. 'Fred' is the electric version of Allan Holdsworth's 'Kinder', (heard on his album 'Velvet Darkness'). Allan's 'Mr. Spock' celebrates his enjoyment of 'Star Trek', but not in any stupid commercial sense. The two bonus track are a great addition to the CD issue of this album. Allan's "Letsby" is a more complex and exciting reworking of his "Mr Spock" tune, and Tony Williams' own "Celebration" is a great jazz funk track in the Herbie Hancock style. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Tony Williams Lifetime's "Emergency!" and "The Joy of Flying" albums [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 99.4 Mb]


1 Snake Oil (Tony Newton) — 6:30
2 Fred (Allan Holdsworth) — 6:48
3 Proto-Cosmos (Alan Pasqua) — 4:02
4 Red Alert (Newton) — 4:39
5 Wildlife (Tony Williams) — 5:22
6 Mr Spock (Holdsworth) — 6:15
7 Celebration (Williams) — [Bonus Track] 4:01
8 Letsby (Holdsworth) — [Bonus Track] 6:34


Allan Holdsworth – Guitar
Tony Newton – Electric Bass
Alan Pasqua – Piano, Clavinet
Tony Williams – Drums


The Tony Williams Lifetime was a jazz-rock fusion group led by jazz drummer Tony Williams. The Tony Williams Lifetime was founded in 1969 as a power trio with John McLaughlin on electric guitar, and Larry Young (aka Khalid Yasin) on organ. The band was possibly named for Williams' debut album as a bandleader, Life Time, released on Blue Note in 1964. Its debut album was Emergency!, a double album released on Polydor/PolyGram Records in 1969. It was largely rejected by jazz listeners at the time of its release because of its heavy rock influences, but it is now looked upon as a fusion classic. Jack Bruce joined the group to provide bass and vocals on its second album, Turn it Over, released in 1970. McLaughlin left the group and was replaced by Ted Dunbar on its 1971 album, Ego. This album also featured Ron Carter on bass and cello, Warren Smith and Don Alias on percussion, and Larry Young on organ. Lifetime gigs around this time featured Juini Booth on bass. This lineup's performance in France on August 7, 1971 (venue unknown) was filmed in color and broadcast on the French television program Pop2. Following Larry Young's departure from the band sometime after July of 1972, Tony Williams was the only original member remaining. In July 1972 Williams appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival with an all-star lineup of the Stan Getz Quartet featuring Stan Getz on saxophone, bassist Stanley Clarke and pianist Chick Corea. This performance was memorialized with both audio and video recordings. Williams performed the following month in August 1972 with a new brief-lived trio called Life Time Experience, featuring bassist Stanley Clarke and violinist Jean Luc-Ponty. Their performance at the Festival de Chateauvallon, Chateauvallon, France, on August 23rd, 1972, was captured on film in black & white. The fourth and last Lifetime album for Polydor/PolyGram, 1973's The Old Bum's Rush, was recorded in Boston and featured entirely new personnel, consisting of female vocalist and guitarist Linda 'Tequila' Logan, Webster Lewis on organ & clavinette, David Horowitz on piano, vibes, and ARP synthesizer, and Herb Bushler on bass. Tony Williams' father Tillmon Williams makes a guest appearance on saxophone. Prior to recording, with Larry Young still in the band, the Lifetime performed material from the album on July 1, 1972 at Carnegie Hall in New York. Marking yet another stylistic departure for the Lifetime and reinvention of the band's musical identity, the record is characterized by a predominantly sprightly and upbeat songwriting approach, electronic keyboard-dominated sound, and jazzy female vocals. Recorded by Williams under the dark cloud of knowing that Polydor would not be renewing his contract, the album received poor reviews, and the group was effectively dissolved. In 1974, Williams formed a new Lifetime featuring Bum's Rush holdovers Webster Lewis on keyboards and Linda 'Tequila' Logan on vocals, along with former Cream/Lifetime bassist Jack Bruce and British guitarist Allan Holdsworth. This lineup, sometimes referred to as Wildlife, recorded an album's worth of material at Europa Films Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in October 1974, which has never been officially released. In the spring of 1975, Williams put together a quartet he called The New Tony Williams Lifetime featuring bassist Tony Newton, pianist Alan Pasqua, and guitarist Allan Holdsworth. This lineup recorded two albums for Columbia/CBS Records, Believe It in 1975 and Million Dollar Legs in 1976. These albums were reissued on one CD in 1992 as Lifetime: The Collection. After recording Million Dollar Legs, guitarist Allan Holdsworth departed and was replaced by Marlon Graves for the subsequent tour undertaken to support the album. In 1977, Williams parted ways with Graves, Pasqua, and Newton and formed another Lifetime lineup with entirely new personnel consisting of Mike Hoffmann (lead guitar), Gerry Mule (2nd guitar), Paul Potyen (keyboards), and Michael Formanek (bass). This lineup recorded demos for the Columbia label but had no official releases, and played a small number of live gigs performing material from "Ego" and the two New Lifetime albums "Believe It" and "Million Dollar Legs." In July 1978, Williams toured Japan with Ronnie Montrose (guitar), Brian Auger (keyboards), Mario Cipollina (bass) and special guest Billy Cobham also on drums for a series of concerts. They were billed as the Tony Williams All Stars. Later that year he released The Joy of Flying, an eclectic solo album featuring a mix of styles and collaborations with Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor, Tom Scott, Stanley Clarke, Michael Brecker, George Benson, and Jan Hammer. It also contains "Open Fire" recorded by the All Stars earlier that year. In 1979, Williams formed another all-new Lifetime featuring Tod Carver (guitar), Bunny Brunel (bass), Bruce Harris (keyboards), and Tom Grant (keyboards). The band's sound was a major departure from the former New Lifetime's classic fusion: the high-energy shredding heard on Believe It and Million Dollar Legs was largely abandoned in favor of a cerebral and groove-laden approach that emphasized mood and melody over technical virtuosity. As with the 1977 lineup, the 1979 Lifetime played a small number of live gigs and no studio recordings are known to exist. Toward the end of this period, Williams pared-down the lineup to a trio and played some gigs with Tom Grant on keyboards and Bunny Brunel on bass. In late May 1980, Williams and a new trio incarnation of the Lifetime featuring Patrick O'Hearn on bass (miscredited as Patrick O'Hara) and Tom Grant on keyboards recorded the little known Play or Die album for the Swiss label PS Productions. Stylistically, the recording found Williams returning to high energy keyboard-dominated instrumental fusion reminiscent of the 1975 album On the Mountain by Elvin Jones, Jan Hammer and Gene Perla. At the time of its release, Emergency! was notably influential on the then-emerging genre of jazz fusion. It was also one of several albums that the members of The Allman Brothers Band listened to regularly early in their career. John Zorn named the Tony Williams Lifetime as a specific musical inspiration in the liner notes of the Naked City album Radio. Since the death of Williams in 1997, Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield formed Trio Beyond with Larry Goldings in honour of The Tony Williams Lifetime. They released one album, Saudades (2006), on the German label ECM. In 2006, former Lifetime members Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua toured with drummer Chad Wackerman and bassist Jimmy Haslip performing a set comprising original as well as Lifetime material. Live at Yoshi's, a DVD from the U.S. leg of the tour, was released in 2007 and followed by the 2CD set Blues for Tony in 2009. In December 2008, guitarist Vernon Reid, organist John Medeski, drummer Cindy Blackman, and former Lifetime member Jack Bruce played a week of shows in Japan as the Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Band, playing a set of 1969/70 Lifetime material. This was recorded in high-definition and shown on Japanese TV. The Lifetime Tribute Band featuring Jack Bruce reformed in February 2011 to play a further ten shows in high profile jazz clubs in North America. Unusually the dates have early & evening shows, something most rock musicians stopped doing at the beginning of the 1970s. Reaction to the 2011 U.S. Lifetime shows has been so positive that the band have re-named themselves Spectrum Road, after a track on 1969's first Lifetime album,and post tour are to go into the studio to record a new album for the U.S. jazz record label Palmetto Records.


Tony Williams' death in 1997 of a heart attack after routine gall bladder surgery was a major shock to the jazz world. Just 51, Williams (who could be a very loud drummer) seemed so youthful, healthy, and ageless even though he had been a major drummer for nearly 35 years. The open style that he created while with the Miles Davis Quintet in the mid- to late '60s remains quite influential, and he had a long list of accomplishments during the decades that followed. Williams' father, a saxophonist, took his son out to clubs that gave him an opportunity to sit in; at 11, the youngster already showed potential. He took lessons from Alan Dawson, and at 15 was appearing at Boston-area jam sessions. During 1959-1960, Williams often played with Sam Rivers, and in December 1962 (when he was barely 17), the drummer moved to New York and played regularly with Jackie McLean. Within a few months he joined Miles Davis, where his ability to imply the beat while playing quite freely influenced and inspired the other musicians; together with Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter he was part of one of the great rhythm sections. Williams, who was 18 when he appeared on Eric Dolphy's classic Out to Lunch album, stayed with Davis into 1969, leading his own occasional sessions and becoming a household name in the jazz world. In addition to his interest in avant-garde jazz, Tony Williams was a fan of rock music, and when he left Miles he formed the fusion band Lifetime, a trio with Larry Young and John McLaughlin. After leading other versions of Lifetime (one of them starring Allan Holdsworth), Williams stuck to freelancing for a time, studied composition, and toured with Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. band. By the mid-'80s, he was heading his own all-star hard bop group which featured Wallace Roney as a surrogate Miles Davis and a repertoire dominated by the drummer's originals (including the standard "Sister Cheryl"). After breaking up his longtime quintet in 1995, Williams gigged a bit with a trio, recorded a very interesting set of original music for the Ark 21 label, and seemed to have a limitless future. His premature death makes one grateful that he started his career early and that he was extensively documented. © Scott Yanow © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tony-williams-p7832/biography


progman said...

thanks for this one, great line-up.been listening to early holdsworth,a la igginbottom, u.k, bruford,for years, nice to hear pasqua again, and tony williams, one of the best. cheers Pierre.

A.O.O.F.C said...


Foth said...

Thanks for this, haven't heard it for years.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,Foth. You have good taste in music! TTU soon...P

ratso said...

Thanks for this Mr Fingal. Tony Williams was a real talent.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. What about the magnificent Jedward? So sad!

Anonymous said...

Please repost!

A.O.O.F.C said...

NEW LINK @ http://topjazzsongs.blogspot.ie/2012/02/tony-williams-lifetime-believe-it-1975.html

Thanks to original blogger