Tony Williams
Kozmigroov Albums
Emergency! [Polydor, 1969]
Turn It Over [Polydor, 1970]
Ego [Polydor, 1971]
The Old Bum's Rush [Polydor, 1973]
Believe It [CBS, 1975]
Million Dollar Legs [CBS, 1976]
The Joy of Flying [CBS, 1979]
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If I could only have one fusion album right now, it'd definitely be Emergency! - it's certainly a shambly ride in many ways- it's precisely this bend/don't break interplay that makes it extraordinarily evocative (and provides the perfect context for the quality Musica Transonic/"jazzy" High Rise material, decades later).  The CD reissue has an amusing sob story about the poor condition of the master tapes, but I only got half way through reading it before the opening guitar/organ riff swallowed my attention span. [RL]

The incompetent production on the original issue of Emergency! is part of it's charm -- it's real baroque punk rock. "Fixing" it was as stupid as the "fixing" of the Stooges' Raw Power. Jazz fanatics often shoot themselves in the foot -- records aren't documents of live performances. Fortunately, the Emergency! tapes were recorded so in the red that after two attempts at remastering, there's still a lot of distortion. Both Emergency! and Raw Power are still great in their current lesser formats, but for reasons of musical execution, not as total works of art. Try to track down a copy of Lifetime's vinyl 2fer Once In A Lifetime which has all of Emergency!, the original production, and isn't too difficult to find. [DS]

While Emergency! is a fine record altogether, you can throw the "jazz" caveat out the window with parts of Turn It Over, especially the first track.  That's rock music at its heaviest, and it sounds very much like the first and especially the second Mainliner albums. [KS]

I'm delighted to see Ego finally reissued on CD. Although I prefer McLaughlin to guitarist Ted Dunbar, I'm really impressed - as always - with Larry Young's spacey organ textures. The percussion lends it something of On The Corner feel, although most of it is a bit less manic. (I'm sure this has graced many a DJ's turntable.) I wish Tony had been able to refrain from singing, though. [SE]

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