December 21, 2008 – 4:33 am

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Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute 2008 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Motion Blue, Yokohama, Japan. December 14, 2008. First show. Very good audience recording.

On December 12, 2008, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid posted the following note on his blog (

“This idea really started a long time ago with the tragic untimely death of Mr (Tony) Williams [in 1997]. He was and remains a great hero to many of us; not just for his incredible mastery of the drums, but for his intensely visionary gifts as a composer and songwriter. I’ve had the great fortune to work with the extraordinary bassist Jack Bruce of Cream, and during a tour with him started to chat about Tony Williams and Lifetime and their close personal relationship.

“I thought of Cyndi Blackman, a true devotee of Mr Williams whose work in that regard is not as well known as her long association with the rock star Lenny Kravitz. Cyndi is a gifted composer in her own right and as such has real insight into Mr Williams, not only as a master percussionist, but as a creator as well. John Medeski is a keyboard artist of true originality, whose organ work evokes the mysterious power of the vastly under appreciated Larry Young whose moody swing and avant energy was a powerful force within the ensemble.

“John McLaughlin has been a major influence on me as a guitarist, mainly from the later Mahavishnu period, seeds of which were sown in Tony Williams Lifetime as well as his tenure with the great Miles Davis. This project is a way to celebrate a great unique voice at the nexus of Jazz and Rock; a true original.”

Bassist Jack Bruce commented on the site: “When Vernon Reid suggested we might have a tribute concert for the music of Tony Williams Lifetime I jumped at the chance to take part. One of the greatest highlights of my musical career was playing with Tony’s amazing band. I am so looking forward to re-visiting this music especially with such great musicians as Vernon, John and Cindy. Together I believe we can rekindle the spirit of a more joyous and optimistic era.”

From December 14-19, 2008, this awesome quartet performed the Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute at Yokohama and Tokyo in Japan. As Lifetime fans know, three of the tracks came from the group’s influential debut album, Emergency! (1969): Beyond Games, Emergency and Where.

Thanks to catpochi who recorded and shared the tracks on the Dime site. As catpochi noted: “This was recorded on the first row and center.”

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Disc 1
Track 101. Opening
Track 102. Introduction
Track 103. Vuelta Abajo
Track 104. Beyond Games
Track 105. Emergency

Disc 2
Track 201. Where
Track 202. There Comes A Time

Jack Bruce - bass and vocals
Vernon Reid - guitar
John Medeski - organ
Cindy Blackman - drums and vocal

Click here to order Tony Williams Lifetime’s Emergency! album.


  2. thank you so much for posting this. the fact that this line up is not playing 5 nights in NYC is a shame. hats off to japanese music fans for demonstrating their support and demand

    By Burning Dervish on Dec 21, 2008

  3. Can’t wait to hear how these guys (and gal) sounded. The fact that jack was a semi original Lifetime member adds weight to this tribute. After hearing a live show from 1970 (Newcastle,UK) these musicians have a lot to live up to, I am sure that they gave it their all. Let’s hope that their will be more shows in the states. (New York would be great!) Cheers.

    By Jeff Tate II on Dec 23, 2008

  4. Thank you for posting this one! Firstly Allan Holdsworth & Alan Pasqua and now Jack Bruce. It’s always a good time to pay tribute to one of the best drummers of the story playing his music. Great!

    By Barleyman70 on Dec 30, 2008

  5. Thanks for reposting this amazing show. My original download got gremlins during a transfer to a bigger drive.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Dec 6, 2010

  6. any chance for an re-up?

    By Eddie Graf on Mar 8, 2018

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