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Tony Williams Lifetime - Believe It CD (album) cover


Tony Williams Lifetime


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 72 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Just when you were starting to forget about the Lifetime name, Tony Williams comes back with a real second group after the Bruce/Young/McL line-up, the Holdsworth Pasqua/Newton line-up is just as steamy, but admittedly much less celebrated. Looking back in retrospect, Believe is probably one of those seminal album where jazz-rock is moving a to jazz-funk, but it's hardly the first, since Miles' On The Corner and later Herbie's Head Hunter, and WR's chance of bassist (from the European Vitous to the Afro-American Johnson), this is yet another although Holdsworth's guitar still keeps it very rock-minded. Holdsworth is the major star in this album, having come from Igginbottom through Nucleus, Soft Machine and Tempest and would follow-up with Gong, before going solo, although you'll hear that all four are awesome)

Starting on a huge funky bass is not the better way for this writer to settle into a JR/F album, but then again you'd better get used to it.(I did ;o)))). Besides the excellent and escapist Proto-Cosmos the preceding Fred had been gentler, at least at first, before Holdsworth's blistering solos set fire to your speaker's diaphragms. The Red-hot Alert is another beauty where Alan Holds its Worth; the Williams-penned Wildlife is definitely more balanced, giving Pasqua more chance to express himself including a great solo on a Rhodes. The closing Mr Spock starts on the Rhodes but ends weekly on drums fade outs.

The two bonus tracks are a little bizarre, given that the album would be sooooo short without them, that it seems they'd be part of the original album as well. Indeed Celebration melts exactly into the album soundscape and the fantastic Letsby, giving Williams a fantastic showcase, is no less excellent. Rarely have two bonus tracks melted so well with their albums.

Definitely their best album in their "New Lifetime" configuration, Believe It is just as strong as the first two albums of the previous incarnation. It might appear a bit too technical at times, concentrating on virtuosity rather than pure composition, but there is plenty to still please those progressive jazz-rock fans out there.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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