Tony Williams – Young At Heart (1997) [Reissue 1999] SACD ISO + Hi-Res FLAC

Tony Williams – Young At Heart (1997) [Reissue 1999]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 69:12 minutes | Small pictures included | 2,78 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Small pictures included | 1,23 GB

Drummer Tony Williams died suddenly, and tragically, in early 1997. His death struck hard, eliminating one of jazz rhythm’s sharpest innovators since the 1950s. Williams first made his brilliance clear in the second great Miles Davis Quintet of the early 1960s. He whirled like mad later, especially with his own jazz-rock fusion trio Lifetime. In between, he created rhythmic vapor trails behind Miles and increased the wobbly rhythmic ratio with artists like Eric Dolphy. Sadly, in Young at Heart, we have his final recording. With Mulgrew Miller and Ira Coleman, Williams sounds as complex and hitting as ever. The tunes vary from standards (“On Green Dolphin Street” is the best here) to Williams’s own tunes. Perhaps in honor of Williams, it sounds like the producer of Young miked Williams so he sounded louder, sometimes even domineering. But he was undoubtedly superb, and he mixes well with an unusually tough-toned Miller on the keys. This is a historic session, because it is Sony’s 1st commercially released DSD recording, made in Tokyo in September 1996.

This would be the drummer’s last recording, cut six months before he died. It shows Williams in a more conciliatory mood, sublimating his huge chops and bombastic style for subtler shadings and support for pianist Mulgrew Miller and bassist Ira Coleman, while lessening none of his indefatigable swing. This was also the last band Williams toured with, indicating he was committed to and comfortable with the acoustic piano-bass-drums format. It’s a setting he had never really fully exploited over his years of leadership, no doubt inspired by the Herbie Hancock-Ron Carter partnership within the Miles Davis quintet of the mid-’60s. On the six standards present, Miller shines like a million facet diamond, his ultra-bright ideas swimming happily in this cauldron of crackling rhythms. The pianist peculiarly reharmonizes — perhaps even shifts keys — on six bars of the first line of the ballad “Body and Soul” and hits the kicker, his composition “Promethean,” hard and strong, ripping off boppish melodic and harmonic phrases as if child’s play. Williams trades fours on “Promethean” and the bass-led feature for Coleman during “You and the Night and the Music”; he also busts out with his typical triplet and quadruplet fury for the solidly swinging, slightly reharmonized “On Green Dolphin Street.” The trio also recapitulates the previously larger-ensemble Williams original “Neptune” in a more pensive, poised, Aquarian mode than the caravan processional of the earlier recording. Miller’s extraordinary modal chord extrapolations at the end are stunningly beautiful. Although this might not be viewed by fans as typical of Tony Williams, it is a logical conclusion to a brilliant career in jazz, and holds up high the lofty improvisational values he kept close to his vest, but near to our hearts. Recommended.


01. Promethean
02. Young At Heart
03. On Green Dolphin Street
04. Farewell To Dogma
05. How My Heart Sings
06. The Fool On The Hill
07. Neptune: Fear Not
08. You And The Night And The Music
09. Body And Soul
10. This Here
11. Summer Me, Winter Me

Tony Williams – drums
Ira Coleman – bass
Mulgrew Miller – piano

Produced by Tony Williams



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