FOUR MONSTER TALENTS GATHER TO SALUTE VISIONARY MUSICIAN & BAND
Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute featuring legendary bassist of Cream and one-time Lifetime member
Jack Bruce, guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Colour),
organist John Medeski
(Medeski Martin & Wood), and ace drummer Cindy Blackman brings their unique take on Williams' revolutionary music to The Blue
Note in New York City (Jan. 27-30), Yoshi's in Oakland (Feb. 2-5) and Jazz Alley in Seattle (Feb. 7 & 8).
Lifetime was founded as a trio in 1969 by Tony Williams who featured electric guitarist John McLaughlin and organist
Larry Young. Lifetime’s first album, titled Emergency!, was rejected by many jazz fans who came to know
Williams’ music from his work with the Miles Davis Quintet in the ‘60s, but many now consider it a fusion classic.
Jack Bruce joined Lifetime on their second recording Turn It Over, providing bass and vocals, making the
group a quartet. But Lifetime was short-lived, and Williams took the concept through various iterations, starting
with the New Tony Williams Lifetime 1975. The last New Lifetime recording, Play or Die, was released in
1980. Williams, widely considered one of the greatest drummers of all time, continued to perform and record
extensively until his untimely death in 1997.
The idea of a tribute band "really started a long time ago with the tragic death of Mr. Williams," Vernon Reid wrote in
his blog at livingcolourmusic.com on the eve of the Japan dates. "I've had the great fortune to work with the
extraordinary bassist Jack Bruce of Cream, and during a tour with him started to chat about Tony Williams and
Lifetime and their close personal relationship. I thought of Cindy Blackman, a true devotee of Mr. Williams whose
work in that regard is not as well known as her long association with the rock star Lenny Kravitz. John Medeski’s
organ work evokes the mysterious power of the vastly under-appreciated Larry Young." Reid went on to cite John
McLaughlin of the original Lifetime band as a major influence on his guitar playing, "mainly from the later
Mahavishnu period, the seeds of which were sown in Tony Williams Lifetime."
Cindy Blackman also expressed her excitement at being involved in the group, exclaiming "Tony Williams is my drum
hero! The Tony Williams Lifetime influenced not only Miles Davis but Mahavishnu, Return to Forever and the next
three decades of electric music to the present."
For Jack Bruce, paying tribute to Williams is a homecoming that is more than welcome. "One of the greatest
highlights of my musical career was playing with Tony's amazing band," he said. "Together I believe we can rekindle
the spirit of a more joyous and optimistic era."
Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Tour Dates
Four Nights at THE BLUE NOTE in NEW YORK CITY
JANUARY 27, 28, 29 & 30 | Sets at 8PM & 10:30PM
Four Nights at YOSHI'S in OAKLAND
FEBRUARY 2, 3, 4 & 5 | Sets at 8PM & 10PM
Two Nights at JAZZ ALLEY in SEATTLE
FEBRUARY 7 & 8 | Sets at 7:30PM & 9:30PM