Tony Williams on Miles Davis’s album E.S.P.

Miles Davis E.S.P.

Miles Davis E.S.P.

I really like Tony Williams, especially when he was young. His drum kit sound was tight and crisp in the 1960’s. That time period was incredibly creative for Tony. As he moved to fusion in the 70’s his kit got louder and more rock-sounding in texture, though he always played great. I’ve been fascinated with Miles Davis’s album ESP, released in January 1965. On this album Tony plays very minimalist. He milks everything he can out of the ride cymbal and barely touches the drums. It’s a lesson in what one cymbal can do. I’ve never heard anything else quite like it. Check it out! The guy has chops from heaven – or hell, depending on your perspective – and barely uses them on this record, except for lush dynamic control. What a master! To think Tony was only about 16 years old when he recorded this album is beyond words.

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