Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute show(s) in Japan
featuring JACK BRUCE, VERNON REID, JOHN MEDESKI & CINDY BLACKMAN
December 14, 2008 Motion Blue - Yokohama, Japan
December 15-19, 2008 Blue Note - Tokyo, Japan
"When Vernon Reid suggested we might have a tribute concert for the music of Tony Williams Lifetime I jumped at the chance to take part. One of the greatest highlights of my musical career was playing with Tony's amazing band. I am so looking forward to re-visiting this music especially with such great musicians as Vernon, John and Cindy. Together I believe we can rekindle the spirit of a more joyous and optimistic era." - JACK BRUCE
This idea really started a long time ago with the tragic untimely death of mr. Williams. He was and remains a great hero to many of us;not just for his incredible mastery of the drums, but for his intensely visionary gifts as a composer and songwriter. I've had the great fortune to work with the extraordinary bassist Jack Bruce of Cream, and during a tour with him started to chat about Tony Williams and Lifetime and their close personal relationship. I thought of Cyndi Blackman, a true devotee of mr Williams whose work in that regard is not as well known as her long association with the rock star Lenny Kravitz. Cyndi is a gifted composer in her own right and as such has real insight into Mr. Williams, not only as a master percussionist, but as a creator as well. John Medeski is a keyboard artist of true originality, whose organ work evokes the mysterious power of the vastly under appreciated Larry Young whose moody swing and avant energy was a powerful force within the ensemble.
John McLaughlin has been a major influence on me as a guitarist, mainly from the later Mahavishnu period, seeds of which were sown in Tony Williams Lifetime as well as his tenure with the great Miles Davis.
This project is a way to celebrate a great unique voice at the nexus of Jazz and Rock; a true original.
tony william's lifetime was always one of my favorite bands. even before i ever imagined that i would be playing organ or electric keyboards.
over the years, since tony left the planet, vernon and i have been talking about doing this project to honor one of the pioneering ensembles of modern of electric music. somehow everything has finally come together to let it happen.
i love playing with vernon, cindy blackman is one of my favorite drummers (we have been trying to find a way to play together the past few years), and jack bruce is jack bruce, a legend. i am very excited. - john medeski
Tony Williams is my drum hero!!! I love all of his work and especially, the ground breakingly innovative LifeTime. I am so happy that Vernon wanted to celebrate it because The Tony Williams Lifetime influenced not only Miles Davis but Mahavishnu, Return To Forever and the next 3 decades of electric music to the present. Tony introduced me Jack Bruce briefly at the One Night At Blue Note concert in NYC.... I love his playing and was Hoping to get a chance to play with him and to do so in tribute to Tony is the ultimate!!!
Vernon Reid is a modern day guitar hero! His musicianship and vision are incredible and playing with him is always amazing! Super chops, super intelligence and super concept! I love all of that !
John Medeski is a great musician and I've been wanting to play with him for a long time! His sound is firery, his energy high and he's not afraid to take chances,....
I am completely happy and honored to give tribute to Tony Williams with such greats as Vernon, Jack & John! - Cindy Blackman
＜Commentary from JOHN SCOFIELD＞＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝
I played on a few concerts and recordings with Tony in the 70’s and 80’s.I was always thrilled to perform with him because he is one of my musical idols. The first time I played with him, in N.Y. at “SWEET BASIL” in ’77… I was so impressed with the sound he got from his cymbals and drums…..It was so much richer and deeper than any other drummer I had heard!!
“Lifetime” was very experimental and free…but using electric guitar and organ…Different from acoustic music. McLaughin and Young made incredible sounds using electricity! This was very related to sonic innovations in Rock music・・・.They were among the first to combine JAZZ and ROCK and ELECTRONICS!