Tony Williams: Still The Rhythm Magician

This week I’ll be linking to some classic Downbeat interviews. Here is a very interesting 1989 talk with drummer Tony Williams. In this excerpt from the interview, Williams talks about first hearing Miles wanted him for his new quintet:

“I guess Id been in New York about four or five months, working with Jackie; we were playing different things around New York and Brooklyn. We played a concert at some hall in midtown Manhattan, and Miles came in with Philly Joe Jones and thats where he heard me. I think Jackie had been talking to Miles and maybe he had mentioned that he had a new band and said, Come hear the band. A month later, I got a call from Grachan Moncur, the trombone player; his girlfriend at the time was the secretary for Miles lawyer, and they were looking for me. And so, I pick up the phone and Grachan says, Did Miles call you today? Hes lookin for you. And I said, Yeah, sure. Right. Give me a break. He responded, No, really. Hang up the phone. Hes trying to get in touch with you. Hes in California, man. So we get off the phone and Miles ends up calling from California, and he wanted to know could we get together when he got back—hed be back in a couple of weeks. And, I was more than happy, because at the time, Miles was my biggest influence musically. I was just in love with his music, his bands.”

Click here to read Tony Williams: Still The Rhythm Magician

— Peter Blasevick