Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Tony Williams

  • The Joy of Flying [Columbia, 1979] B-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Joy of Flying [Columbia, 1979]
For months I've had the nagging suspicion that this special-guests showcase might be that oddity of oddities, a good fusion album. But it's only an interesting one, featuring a duet with Cecil Taylor that has nothing to do with fusion and including among its snappy complexities a snappy tune that is actually fun--the lead cut, Jan Hammer's "Going Far." Rest assured that Hammer redeems himself tout de suite on George Benson's "Hip Skip," which like most of what remains is snappy and complex and cloyingly high-tech in the great fusion tradition. But Ronnie Montrose's arena fusillades--unlike Benson's articulate tripe--are also fun. And not only is Williams equally comfortable with Cecil and snappy and heavy metal, he's worth listening to no matter what's in the foreground. B-

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