Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute @ Blue Note

One of my most fondly remembered musical events occurred more than forty years ago, 1970, on a late July evening. As usual I was tagging along with my friend, "Rocks In My Head" columnist and photographer, Larry Yelen. We made our way to Ungano's, a small uptown NYC club. Where we were seated on the floor just a few feet from legendary drummer Tony Williams who's band Lifetime was playing four nights of shows with recently added member Jack Bruce on bass. Rounding out the band were Mahavishnu John McLaughlin / guitar and Larry Young / keyboards. Check out the band's second album "Turn It Over" recorded with Jack for some pioneering jazz-rock fusion. This past Saturday night, thanks to friend and "Energy Times" editor Allan Richter, I was quite surprised to find myself at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village for a tribute to Tony Williams. Cindy Blackman / drums, John Madeski / keyboards and Vernon Reid / guitar joined Jack onstage and were introduced as Spectrum Road after a track on Lifetime's first album Emergency. I was actually too close to get a good view of the whole band, and it seemed that fate had intervened to put me, once again, at the feet of Jack Bruce. I managed to take a few photos with the iphone 4 and considering the low light and no flash rule I'm happy to have some remembrance of a great tribute to a hall of fame jazz drummer. NY1 report on Spectrum Road @ Blue Note.
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