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Life Time Import, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Limited Edition, November 16, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

LIFE TIME

Amazon.com

Tony Williams was just 18 years old when he recorded this, his 1964 debut as a leader, but he was already a prodigious drummer who could maintain a rapid-fire flow of subtle accents that prodded a soloist into fresh directions. His effect on a band was electric, and he had rapidly moved to the front ranks of jazz musicians, working with Jackie McLean, Eric Dolphy, and Miles Davis. More than a fine drummer, Williams was a musical visionary, and with Life Time he recorded one of the most forward-looking of the Blue Note albums of the '60s. It shows in the choice of radical sidemen like Sam Rivers, the explosive tenor saxophonist who had been Williams's early mentor in Boston, and bassist Gary Peacock, then a regular associate of Albert Ayler, as well as the more innovative members of the Blue Note stable, like Herbie Hancock and Bobby Hutcherson. It also shows in Williams's liberating approach to instrumentation, using two basses on some tracks and none on another, and even omitting his own drums from the flamenco-tinged "Barb's Song to the Wizard." The trio of Williams, Rivers, and Peacock create a masterpiece on "Tomorrow Afternoon," with its heady mix of calm and passion, but every track is well-crafted, challenging music. --Stuart Broomer
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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30
8:04
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2
30
10:40
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3
30
5:35
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4
30
8:06
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 1999)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00000IWVR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The recording
Life Time is Tony`s first recording as leader and composer. All of the tunes are Williams's originals, arranged with the help of Herbie Hancock.
Life Time has innate brilliance in its planning and execution; its inception is luminous.
Williams has come up with very interesting lineups for interesting compositions; on some pieces there are two basses and on some there are none, and on one piece there are only bass and piano...
This isn't a good place to start exploring jazz. If you're a casual listener or a smooth jazz fanatic, don't even bother trying this. May not make your toes tapping; its a rather jaw-dropping experience.
Music of Life Time is original, unpredictable, floating, wandering, uncompromising, demanding, searching, haunting, powerful, gloomy and atonal - but it remains rewarding. It is complex thorough out - but still very passionate, soulful, emotional, enjoyable...
Listening to this recording needs trained ear, open mind, concentration and willingness to explore, because these tracks don't really have a clear or steady rhythmic pulsation or melody line (that are obvious on some other recording such as Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder or Art Blakey's Moanin').
A bit uncompromising but very rewarding music when you begin to understand it. Experiencing this recording will probaly not be easy, but after some time you will begin to appreciate it.
This is the kind of music that is enduring, because it has so much to give and with every listen it reveals something new. Everything cannot be found with only one listening - needs extensive and intensive listening.
Still very fresh, exciting and rewarding music after 40 years - enduring music.
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Format: Audio CD
Williams' Blue Note leader debut (recorded when he was only 18) showcases his versatility and already places him among the elite jazz drummers. He truly played the instrument as none other had before him. The first three tracks contains Sam Rivers' stretching avant-garde horn blowing furiously over two basses and of course Williams own brilliant drumming. "Memory" is a completely free improvisation between vibist Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock and Williams, while the final song omits Williams drums altogether in lieu of an intriguing piano and bass exploration led by Hancock. Every track is completely accessible and introspective, and it still sounds advanced by today's standards. Brilliant music by a jazz giant.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1964, 18 year old Tony Williams was on his way up. Acknowledged as one of the most capable drummers on the jazz scene and part of Miles Davis' band, Williams received his first sessions as a leader. Titling the album "Lifetime", the music is drawn from two sessions in August.

For the first session, Williams brought in tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, who he had worked with in Boston for what would be the tenor's first studio date and bassists Richard Davis and Gary Peacock on a session that would lodge Williams firmly in the avant-garde. The band performs three Williams compositions-- "Two Pieces of One: Red", "Two Pieces of One: Green" and "Tomorrow Afternoon". The two "Two Pieces of One" could scarcely be more different from each other-- 'Red' relies on moody theme statements with tenor doubled by arco basses and some brilliant bass soloing (including an arco/pizzicato dialog at the close of the piece). 'Green' is a feature primarily for Rivers-- the young leader and the tenor duet for several minutes before the performance turns over to a drum solo and then a quartet performance, all filled with far more frantic energy than 'Red'. "Tomorrow Afternoon" finds Williams working in a trio, with Richard Davis sitting out. The theme is a bit more straightforward but the performance finds Rivers exploring as far out as possible with the rhythmically loose Peacock and Williams behind him. One thing is consistent on these three pieces-- the performances are full of fire, energy and inventiveness.

The second session yielded two performances by two different groups.
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Format: Audio CD
As a drummer, I've been a fan of Tony Williams ever since
I first heard Miles Davis' two live albums "My Funny
Valentine" and "Four and More" (recorded soon after
Tony joined Miles' band, but before Wayne Shorter did).
There aren't many jazz musicians that you can recognize
from the first note they blow/hit/strum/touch/whatever.
Tony is definitely one of them (along with drummers
Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes). Beyond his indefatigueable
and undefineable prowess and power, his ability to imply
the pulse and to keep time while suggesting rhythms that
seem to run counter to everything else going on, and yet
undeniably work, is simply as astonishing as it is
beautiful.
But this album! I only just "discovered" this album recently.
This album was years ahead of it's time and, maybe, even
ahead of us now. Everyone on this album sounds as good
as they've ever sounded. Sam River's tenor is pugnacious
and cunning. Gary Peacock has a gorgeous tone and is
much more adventurous and expansive than usual. Bobby
Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock both sound brilliant, but
both also often sound more restrained and contemplative.
In fact, the album feels like an exercise in restraint --
especially from the leader himself. Not the sort of album
you'd expect from an 18 year old (!!!) drummer on his first
date as a leader. He gives all of the musicians on this
recording an extrodinary amount of space within his albeit
somewhat minimalist compositions. He prods and pokes
them all the while with impossibly syncopated
cymbal--hi-hat--snare drum combinations, but never runs
roughshod over the top or thunders his arrival.
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