Steve Khan on Tony Williams’s “Emergency!”

khan_steveSteve Khan: This is Emergency!, right? An important record. It captured a feeling about that particular time, when our music was about to take a great change. It’s a five-star record; the only thing unfortunate about it, considering how recording techniques have advanced, is that the beauty of Larry Young‘s sound is not captured properly. But it still sounds great!

One of the things I like most about jazz related music is that excitement when musicians go into the studio, look at each other, and say, “Let’s play!” This album has that, rather than glossy production values, or anyone saying, “Oh, we’ve got to do something four minutes long.” There’s so much spontaneity and intensity — which is not to say you can’t record a beautiful ballad. But on cuts like this, where no one’s holding anything back, this group set a tone some of us got away from, of sheer purity of intent.

Source: Steve Khan Blindfold Test, by Howard Mandel. Down Beat, February, 1985

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