A trio of excellent albums from master drummer Tony Williams – all brought together in a single package! Believe It is crackling funky fusion from Tony Williams' "new" version of his classic Lifetime group – a quartet that featured some smoking guitar work by jazz rock legend Allan Holdsworth! The sound on the set is very full-on and jamming – fuzzed-out guitars taking over most of the tracks, and Tony jumping into the fray with some really frenetic work on drums – miles away from his earlier jazz work in the 60s, and really taking off with the best sort of rock/
jazz fusion energy! Titles include "Snake Oil", "Fred", "Proto Cosmos", "Red Alert", and "Mr Spock". On Million Dollar Legs, Tony Williams is a million miles from his work with the Miles Davis Quintet on this record – grooving in a heavy rock/
fusion mode with his New Lifetime group that includes Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Tony Newton on bass and vocals, and Alan Pasqua on keyboards! The tracks have a post Jeff Beck kind of approach – lots of heavy riffing in a way that does create a bit of funk at the right moments, almost in the Alphonze Mouzon/
Tommy Bolin mode – and Williams' drums are right at home in the setting, and somehow filled with as much imagination and creativity as before! Titles include "Sweet Revenge", "Inspirations Of Love", "Lady Jade", "What You Do To Me", and "Joy Filled Summer". Joy Of Flying is a key record in the evolution of Tony Williams as a drummer – and kind of a powerful summation of all the changes he'd made in the 70s – before a return to straighter jazz in the next decade! Williams' drumming here is incredibly fierce at points – almost at a Billy
Cobham level – but he also shows the sensitivity to deeper sounds that he first brought into play during the 60s – and manages to mix an ear for fusion modes with some freer elements too – thanks to help from a lineup of players that includes Herbie Hancock and Brian Auger on keyboards, Cecil Taylor
on piano, Jan Hammer on Fender Rhodes, Stanley Clarke on bass, Ton Scott on lyricon, and Ronnie Montrose on guitar. Titles include "Tony", "Coming Back Home", "Morgan's Motion", "Eris", "Open Fire", and "Hittin On 6". Great CD reissue – full notes, and a 20 page booklet with the usual Reel Music attention to detail!