Mosaic Select: Tony Williams (MS-024)

Mosaic Select


Mosaic Select: Tony Williams (MS-024)

"Hearing all of these recordings for the first time in nearly two decades it’s remarkable just how many memorable tunes Williams wrote during this period.” - John Kelman, All About Jazz
Limited Edition: 5000 copies

3 CDs -  $44.00


Simply the Best Acoustic Band of Its Time

When Tony Williams came to New York in December 1962 at the age of 17 under the aegis of Jackie McLean, he knocked the jazz world on its ear. This kid hit the scene fully formed with an absolutely unique and revolutionary approach to jazz drumming at a time when Blakey, Roach, Elvin and Philly Joe were still in their prime and ubiquitous on the New York scene. Tony made his recording debut on Blue Note and was signed to the label by age 18.

When Blue Note was reactivated in 1985, Williams's mind was on acoustic jazz and composing and he returned to the label to make Foreign Intrigue with Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Bobby Hutcherson, Mulgrew Miller and Ron Carter. Excited by the results, the drummer formed a quintet with Roney, Miller, Bill Pierce and Charnett Moffett. That group lasted eight years with only the bass chair changing to Robert Hurst and eventually Ira Coleman.

The Tony Williams Quintet recorded four studio albums between 1986 and '91: Civilization, Angel Street, Native Heart and The Story Of Neptune. Each album was distinguished by Tony's distinctive, melodic compositions, unique arranging and extraordinary drumming. Roney, Pierce and Miller, all outstanding and concise soloists, quickly developed an empathy that grew with each album.

This was a band that made Tony immensely happy. He enjoyed the company of his sidemen and loved the way they interpreted his music. And from 1986 to '94, he had a consistent musical outlet for his music. Throughout a career filled with achievement and innovation, this body of work remains among his most satisfying music.

Read More About Tony Williams:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »


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  Great Set Not Quite 5 *****
I enjoyed getting this set of music. I've been picking up several of the 3 cd boxes sets latley. Well I must confess that Art Blakey is my #1 drummer of all times. I enjoyed Tony's work with Miles. So took a chance on this set after I saw the other players like Mulgrew Miller & Wallace Roney ,Ron Carter just to name three. A most enjoyable box set. Thanks once again Mosaic . I'll keep adding to the ever expanding jazz collection .
  Absolutely awesome playing, timeless music
The thing that makes me keep coming back to this set is the feeling that Tony Williams sounds so freakin' HAPPY throughout these sessions! I mean, I don't know what he sounded like in the years between his playing with Miles and this group, but his level of inspiration is truly on the level of those great Miles Quintet recordings. His drums sound so BIG, too! I absolutely love the cover photo, where it looks like he's swingin' a frickin' redwood! And dig that SMILE! It's not hard for me to imagine him smiling like that throughout these sessions. Truly amazing stuff, and amazingly consistent throughout. This one is definitely a keeper!
  Tony's Triumph
Tony Williams' untimely death was tragic. I knew little of his more mainstream efforts other than those with Miles second great quintet. Somehow I wound up with Native Heart but didn't listen until recent years. What a band! What a sound! Tony wrote his ass off for this group. If you try to put these five albums together on the internet you'll pay over $250 today for the four that are out there. These Blue Note sessions stand out as Tony's best efforts IMO. Granted, the liner notes were a bit sparse but the interview with Williams is priceless. To me this select set makes perfect sense and kudos to Mosaic for keeping it that way. These three CD's are jammed with sound! This set will go quickly, don't miss it . . . this is a must for all especially if you like the hard-bop sound.
  Mosaic miss a Beat or two !
Yes --- This is absolutely superb & a magnificent 'Select ' compilation but why have Mosaic departed from their declared standard of reproducing the original LP sleevenotes for the booklet & instead giving us a ( worthwhile but ordinary ) TW interview. Also TW's Blue Note career pre & post the Lifetime Band deserved(s) a 'Full Mosaic Black Box 'treatment rather simply than this 3CD set--- more than enough material to include all his earlier BN Titles such as 'Spring ' & 'Lifetime' for example as well as the double CD set ' Tokyo Live ' --- Come on Mosaic do this Great Artist Justice & expand this into a Full set without procrastination & you'll get my order !
  A Lifetime of Great Drumming
This Select box is the perfect vehicle to repackage the Blue Note years of Tony Williams. Until just a couple of years ago I did not know this music existed. The Foreign Intrigue session came out in 1985, same time as the rebirth of Blue Note Records. Not a great time for new jazz records or (new?) jazz labels. Think Big Hair 80's metal bands. There were not a lot of radio stations playing jazz and most of this music went unheard. Or did it? Just about every other song on this 3 disc set sounds familiar. In fact several songs were recorded by other groups featuring Tony or other musicians on these sessions. SISTER CHERYL and THE SLUMP are stand outs from the first disc and will have you pushing the replay button for sure. Most of these sessions have been out of print forever and it's a real treat for this Tony Williams fan to be able to acquire them in one purchase. IF you want to hear what Tony was doing a few years before these sessions, check out Tony Williams Lifetime: Believe It. FRED is a masterpiece of progressive jazz/rock/fusion. Thanks again Mosaic!
  Best Acoustic Jazz Quintet from 1985 to 1994
I first hand watched this band perform many of these selections in person. I never knew much about Tony Williams' own quintet. I sat in awe as he delivered drum solo introduction after introduction to all of the selections from Civilization and Foreign Intrigue. Charnet Moffet was incredible, I have seen many of the top bassists in person and he don't have to take a backseat to any. He, Mulgrew and Tony swing from the first note till the last. The music from all of these dates is original and the artists are all first rate. I can still picture the band performing, wishing the night would never end.
  Straightahead brilliance from Tony
These titles contain Tony's best compositions, brilliantly realized by his superb band.
  I love this music and band!
However, calling it straight-ahead is erroneous!
  It 's finally here!! The very best!!!
These recordings represent some of the very best jazz performances of the 1980's and some of the most unique and hip jazz composititons ever!! God bless you Tony, you are THE MAN!! We miss you tremendously!!

Mosaic Select: Tony Williams (MS-024)
Mosaic Select: Tony Williams (MS-024)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
3 CDs - $44.00

Customer Reviews:

"The thing that makes me keep coming back to this set is the feeling that Tony Williams sounds so freakin' HAPPY throughout these sessions!"
Read More Reviews »

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