NAMM 2015: Turkish cymbal maker Istanbul has announced an exciting new line, crafted in tribute to legendary drummer Tony Williams, created as faithful replicas of the now iconic cymbals made famous by Tony on the recordings of the '60s era Miles Davis Quintet. These exclusive new cymbals will be made available initially as limited edition numbered sets.
Tony set a new standard in drumming with the revolutionary group but the very sound of his instrument, in particular, that of his cymbals, would set a benchmark to which, still to this day, all others would aspire.
Istanbul was granted exclusive access to the very same cymbals, made in Istanbul in the late '50s, which were used by Tony Williams on the Miles Davis Quintet's historic recordings. These cymbals were given to Tony by the great Max Roach. Colleen Williams, Tony's wife, hand carried the precious cymbals to Turkey where the master artisans meticulously measured, weighed, gauged and recorded every facet of them.
Istanbul say: "Enormous attention to detail was paid during their creation, with every minute aspect of the cymbals' design; profile, taper, size, weight, etc. being scrupulously measured and factored to ensure that the new, hand made cymbals be as close in sound as possible to the originals. Istanbul Mehmet drew from their rich archives the original and now 'antique' cup dies, the actual dies used to form the bells on the originals, and used them in order to perfectly recreate the bell shapes on the tribute models. Hand-made in Turkey using the same techniques passed down from generation to generation of cymbal artisans, the Istanbul Mehmet Company has faithfully recreated what is arguably the most famous and most desired cymbal sound of all time."
Tony Williams Tribute Cymbal Limited Edition sets feature 22'' ride, 18'' crash and 14'' hi-hats together with a deluxe leather cymbal bag, a selection of rare Tony Williams photographs and a certificate of authenticity.
''I am deeply happy to be working with the great and honorable Mr. Mehmet, whose personal legacy of mastery placed him at the creation of the original masterpiece cymbals and to be able to give to the world, once again, the true essence of these iconic cymbal sounds, sounds so loved and desired by so many for so long'', said Colleen Williams. ''To have had the opportunity to go to Istanbul, the birthplace of the originals, to meet the Istanbul craftsmen, to hear the hammer blows, to witness their imagination, powerful labor and commitment to excellence on this project has been a revelation. It was a profound experience to attend this 'rebirth' of something Tony loved and treasured and an experience that I shall never forget. One doesn't hear the word: 'mastery' so often these days. It has been an extraordinary joy for me to step into its beautiful presence again.''